Keith Mehers avoids jail for ‘upskirting’ and indecent images
A pervert who committed multiple upskirting offences against children and possessed a haul of indecent images has avoided a prison sentence.
Keith Mehers previously pleaded guilty to six counts of possessing indecent images of children, two counts of operating equipment beneath clothing of another without consent, one count of possessing prohibited images and one count of possessing extreme pornography.
Mehers, 43 and of Maple Way, Gillingham, who was a talented athlete in his youth earning a scholarship with Luton Town Football Club, appeared for sentencing at Bournemouth Crown Court on August 20.
Judge Keith Cutler followed the recommendation of a pre-sentence report by a probation officer and handed down a three-year community order rather than a custodial sentence.
Prosecuting, Alec Williams told the court the National Crime Agency handed intelligence to police after Google had made it aware of transactions of concern taking place which had been carried out by the defendant.
A warrant was secured and executed at Mehers’s home address in January of this year. Mr Williams said: “He was in possession of a Huawei mobile phone that was seized from him. Investigations were undertaken of that mobile phone and found a folder within the phone which was protected called ‘vault’. Access was obtained to that folder and within that folder a large number of indecent images of children were found.”
The six separate counts of possessing indecent images related to moving and still images for categories A, B and C.
The phone contained a total of 2,257 indecent images of children, including 333 of the most serious category A classification.
Mr Williams said of these category A moving images featured a child who officers deemed to be no older than five.
There were also 30 prohibited images which did not show a real-life person and a single extreme pornographic image.
“In addition, on the same phone, in total 23 moving images were found which were distinct from the other images that were downloads,” said Mr Williams. “There are images which have been filmed by the user, by Mr Mehers using his own phone.”
One particular film was highlighted by the prosecutor in which the defendant ‘upskirted’ a girl who was said to be no older than 14.
“In the course of the footage, the defendant’s face can be seen,” said Mr Williams.
The film continues with the device being placed under the girl’s skirt, the court heard.
In sentencing the defendant, Judge Cutler said no one knew of Mehers’s “really vile and unpleasant” secret of having indecent images and upskirting.
“It really was quite appalling”, said the judge.
Mehers will be required to complete a sex offenders programme.
He was placed on the sex offenders register and made subject to a sexual harm prevention order for five years.