A MAN who used his mobile phone to film a teenage girl as she showered has been spared an immediate jail term.
Paul Richardson set up his iPhone close to the shower and linked the footage to his iWatch – which he used to take naked pictures of her, a court heard.
But he was caught out when the girl – who cannot be named for legal reasons – noticed a flash as it was filming.
Richardson (41), who lives in Totton, sat impassively in the dock at Southampton Crown Court as the victim described in a video how she continued to have “bad dreams”.
She said: “I just feel upset mostly. I don’t really know what to feel most of the time. Everything in my life before this happened was going okay, it just flipped it all upside down.”
The victim was asked what she would say if Richardson were in front of her, and replied: “I don’t think I could speak to him.”
The victim’s mother – who also cannot be identified – read a statement to the court outlining the shock and hurt she felt at Richardson’s offending.
She said her daughter’s confidence and self-assurance reduced, anger issues had manifested and she did not think the youngster was now as driven with her studies.
Prosecutor Roderick Blain said after Richardson was caught out he voluntarily attended a police interview and handed officers the iWatch and his phone. He had deleted the images he took of the girl.
In court Richardson pleaded guilty to one count of voyeurism and another of taking pseudo-indecent images of a child.
Defence counsel Jodie Mittell outlined the “remorse, sorrow and guilt” Richardson felt at what he had done. She highlighted he made “full and frank admissions” to police and notified the court at the earliest opportunity that he would plead guilty to the two offences.
A man of previous good character, he had offended in a “moment of madness”, she said.
Richardson, she went on, had referred himself to The Priory clinic to explore and address his offending. Medics had suggested he may have been going through an “existential crisis” at the time and he displayed symptoms of depression and anxiety, she added.
In his probation interview Richardson apologised to the victim and her family and said he acknowledged the “damage” he did, the court heard. He also added: “I can only imagine how I would feel if somebody did that to my daughter and how it would truly affect me.”
Ms Mittell handed up a letter from the defendant to the judge as well as references from his boss, who said Richardson was “hard working and conscientious”.
She pointed out there was a low risk of reoffending, arguing justice would be better served if Richardson was spared an immediate jail term but given a community punishment, as recommended by probation.
“What has been put forward addresses the restriction of liberty and rehabilitation of offending,” Ms Mittell stressed. “Coupled with the efforts he has been making himself to prevent future crimes, it also allows him to continue in his employment and provides stability which the report from The Priory indicates is essential in moving forwards.”
Judge Nicholas Rowland praised the victim and her mother for showing “great courage and dignity” and blasted Richardson for committing what he said were “serious offences”.
He gave Richardson a 12-month jail term, suspended for two years. He ordered the defendant to do 150 hours of unpaid work.
Richardson was also given a five-year sexual harm prevention order.
On Richardson’s LinkedIn profile it states he is a former Hounsdown School pupil, who now works for freight management software firm Boxtop technologies as its business development manager.
It adds he has been there for 11 years and is responsible for new business development, customer retention, software training and marketing strategy.