September 2021

Pervert used ‘shoe cam’ to take upskirt videos of schoolgirls in Accrington

A pervert with 62 previous convictions used a secret ‘shoe camera’ to film ‘upskirt’ videos of schoolgirls in Accrington.

Paul Mountain, 46, also hid a camera in a bathroom to record private footage of a woman he fancied using the toilet, Burnley Crown Court heard.

Mountain has now been jailed for 18 months after pleading guilty to voyeurism and making indecent images of children.

His victim, who was recorded in the bathroom, said she was “disgusted” to learn Mountain had spied on her and feared for others who may have been filmed.

The schoolgirls he recorded have never been identified.

In 2019 Mountain was in need of a permanent address after being placed on an electronic tag for burglary.

A couple in Darwen offered him a place to stay but began to suspect he was taking advantage, the court heard.

They looked at his laptop and discovered three videos which showed him fixing a camera to his shoe and following schoolgirls around the streets and into shops – angling the camera to film their underwear and bottoms from underneath their school skirts.

The couple also found a video recorded in their own bathroom, which showed Mountain hiding a camera and recording a visitor as she used the toilet.

They did not report the videos immediately but the laptop was later found by the woman’s brother and the landlord, who had gone to the address to clear out some property after the couple had left.

Mountain, now of Trentham Avenue, Farnworth, was arrested and initially denied being responsible for making the videos.

He claimed he had found the laptop in a skip and later tried to blame his host for setting up the bathroom camera, saying he was trying to catch a man he thought had been stealing from him.

Charles Brown, prosecuting, said: “This man had been given these lodgings so he could have a fixed address while he was on tag and this is how he repaid his hosts.”

Mountain’s internet history showed he had been looking for “teen upskirt in public”, demonstrating his ongoing interest in upskirt videos, the court heard.

The woman who had offered him a home was also able to identify his hand from some of the videos.

Recorder Nicholas Clarke QC, sentencing, told Mountain: “You had a long standing interest in such activity which is clear from your internet history.

“You have demonstrated throughout your criminal career an inability to comply with court orders or co-operate and successfully complete any orders that have been made to try and assist you.”

He jailed him for 13 and a half months for making indecent images and four and a half months for voyeurism.

He also fined him a notional £1 for breach of a suspended sentence which he was subject to at the time of the offending.