A PERVERT who set up hidden cameras to film a teenage girl and her mother in the shower has narrowly avoided being put behind bars.
John Boobyer, 60, of Orchard Way, Wool-avington, made a last-minute decision to undertake a sex offender programme and avoided a jail sentence when he appeared at Taunton Crown Court on Wednesday, July 30.
At an earlier hearing, Boobyer pleaded guilty to one charge of voyeurism relating to a hidden camera set up in the bathroom of a woman he knew and four counts of making an indecent image of a child.
He admitted setting up a hidden camera in his own bathroom, which recorded images of the woman’s daughter in the shower between January and April last year.
The court heard how Boobyer offered to do some DIY in the form of fitting a light in her bathroom.
In April 2013, he went into the loft of the woman’s home while she was having a shower.
Prosecuting, Gregory Gordon said: “She noticed the shower curtain had been moved and discovered a hole, then the camera.
“Mr Boobyer was in the loft at the time and upon finding he had been discovered he panicked and put his foot through the ceiling.”
The court heard how in a statement Mr Boobyer had said: “I’d fancied her for years and had the hots for her. So I thought it would be nice to see what she looked like.”
Police were called and found a camera, along with the indecent images. Some were labelled ‘EX’ for explicit.
Defending, Patrick Mason described Mr Boobyer, who founded Bridgwater majorettes troupe Chameleon Batonettes in 1990, as “a man of previously good character”.
He added: “He had a strong involvement in the community. If there was anything sinister going on previously, something would have surfaced a great deal earlier.
“He led a responsible, law-abiding, useful life. It’s extremely unfortunate he did what he did.”
Mr Boobyer first insisted he did not want to take part in the Thames Valley Sex Offender Programme – risking a jail sentence – because he did not think of himself as a sex offender.
But Judge David Ticehurst asked Boobyer if he was mad, adding: “Fifty-something-year-old men do not set up cameras to look at young girls in showers unless there’s something wrong with them.”
After being given time to reconsider while waiting in the cells, Boobyer chose to undertake the programme.
When asked by the judge what it was like in the cells, Boobyer merely replied: “Quiet”.
Sentencing, Judge Ticehurst said: “You are a strange man.
“The main reason you set up that camera was so you could take some sexual gratification from it. You were in a position of trust.
“If you ever do anything remotely similar, you will go to prison.”
Boobyer was sentenced to a three-year premium community order where he will have to report to a probation officer aznd was given a sexual offences prevention order for five years as well as being ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register.
He must also pay £535 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.
A spokesman for Chameleon Batonettes said: “The committee confirm these events did not involve the Chameleon Batonette troupe in any way.
“The unfortunate events as reported did not involve the team and did not occur at any majorette or associated event.
“We confirm that Mr Boobyer voluntarily resigned his responsibility toward the troupe as soon as the allegations were made.”