June 2017

Bodybuilder, 36, who used his child as cover so he could secretly take ‘upskirt’ photos of women with his phone and a secret camera in his shoe

A bodybuilder who used his child as cover so he could secretly take ‘upskirt’ photos of women with his phone and a secret camera in his shoe has been jailed for 10 months.  

Alex Doodson, 36, filmed nearly 70 women, including a 15-year-old schoolgirl when she was buying sweets, over a 13 month period.

The father-of-one would take the photographs while out shopping with his daughter.

He targeted his victims in various retail outlets including a petrol station, a Clarins boutique and even a tanning salon where he slid his shoe into an adjacent cubicle to film women getting changed.

He was eventually caught in 2015 after a petrol station cashier noticed he was following a woman around a shop with his white mobile phone slanted before bending down beside her as she picked up groceries.

Greater Manchester Police later confiscated various electronic devices he had and found 86 indecent images showing 68 women.

Most victims were unaware they had been filmed and detectives delayed pressing charges in the hope of identifying them.

Inquiries revealed on one occasion, Doodson, of Rochdale, had approached the schoolgirl who was buying sweets and pretended to pick up some confectionery in order to take pictures of her.

Another victim was filmed in her garden and in a pub while a third who discovered she was on Doodson’s library of images said her first thought was to buy herself trousers so no one else could take similar pictures.

At Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester, Doodson admitted four charges of voyeurism between November 2014 and December 2015, four charges of outraging public decency and one count of taking an indecent image of a child and was jailed for ten months.

He was banned from using online dating websites or social media platforms to contact women for ten years, and once out of jail must allow police to carry out random searches on electronic devices he has which are able to store images.

Prosecuting Miss Lisa Boocock said Doodson came under suspicion when the petrol station cashier saw him come into her shop on various occasions in 2015.

She said: ‘He was acting suspiciously, bending down to move items while he had something in his hand. When he next came into the petrol station on the 6 November she watched the defendant come in and was told that other members of staff knew of him too.

‘She began to follow him around the store and she saw he had a white mobile phone slanted and she could see that he was recording the shop floor. She saw him bend down next to a woman and the camera was angled towards her and made attempts to distract both him and the woman.

‘Unfortunately that didn’t work and she was concerned about him approaching children and doing something similar.’

Later the same cashier was dealing with a group of schoolchildren buying sweets when she spotted Doodson arrived and walk towards a 15-year old girl in a school uniform.

Miss Boocock said: ‘the defendant got between her and two boys and bent down to pick something up and return it to the rack to film up her skirt. The cashier contacted the police as what she feared would happen had happened..’

The schoolgirl was traced and she was shocked by Doodson’s behaviour and said she was ‘grateful’ she didn’t know it was happening at the time. The woman filmed earlier was also traced and she said she was ‘shocked and disgusted’ at Doodson ‘invading her personal space’ and said she ‘could not bear to think about it.’

Another victim was about to be asked out on a date by Doodson when she discovered she had been filmed. She said she ‘felt violated’ and changed jobs so he would not know where she worked.

Miss Boocock said: ‘He repeated this similar behaviour in a Clarins store in Bolton. There were 68 different women captured on the images with 86 images of them. On more than one occasion his young daughter was present with him. He also had images of the same female in her garden and also in a public house. It is clear that this woman was followed and selected in some way.

‘He went to a tanning salon as a customer and went into a cubicle. When inside the cubicle he attached a camera onto his shoe and slid it into an adjacent cubicle where a space was. Inside the cubicle he could see women getting dressed after using the sun bed. Four different women were photographed, three being fully naked and one being topless.’

Doodson told police the images had been taken for his own gratification and has since gone for counselling. He is no longer allowed to have unsupervised visits with his daughter.

Judge Andrew Hatton told Doodon: ‘One of the most disturbing aspects of this case of which there are many disturbing aspects was that your young daughter was with you on nine occasions when engaging in these activities.’