A caretaker who planted secret cameras in the women’s toilets of a Lincolnshire college has avoided jail.
Philip Holliday was caught because he also filmed himself setting up the covert device and was identified when the camera was discovered.
Lincoln Crown Court was told that Holliday used Blu Tack to place the camera underneath a partition of a toilet block.
A horrified female student alerted the authorities at Stamford New College after hearing a “beeping sound” coming from the device.
The shocked teenager discovered the camera had been stuck to the toilet floor and had a wire leading to a battery in a nearby sanitary bin.
Andrew Scott, prosecuting, said a memory card was recovered from the camera.
“One of the first files showed images of the person setting up the device in the toilet who was recognised as the defendant.”
Seven female students and one female member of staff were recorded on the camera over one afternoon.
Mr Scott told the court: “On some of the images buttocks were exposed, on others genitals were exposed and some were just sitting on the toilet.
“There was a significant degree of planning to rig up the device and the images were recorded.
“As a caretaker he was afforded a degree of trust to enter the female toilets.”
Holliday was immediately suspended from his job and initially made no comment when he was arrested by the police.
When asked why he had set up the camera Holliday replied “I haven’t got a clue.”
But during his police interviews Holliday later admitted that he was addicted to pornography and had been viewing hidden camera websites.
The court heard all of the students filmed by Holliday were under 18.
In a victim impact statement the teenager who discovered the camera said: “I am disgusted by what happened.”
The member of staff who was filmed added: “This person abused his position not only in the college but in society as a whole.”
Holliday, 40, of Bramble Grove Stamford, admitted a charge of voyeurism as a result of the incident on April 18, 2018.
He was given a four month jail sentence suspended for two years with 100 hours of unpaid work.
He was also ordered to complete a sex offender rehabilitation programme and a rehabilitation activity requirement of up to 40 days.
Recorder Tim Green imposed a 10 year sexual harm prevention order which bans Holliday from entering any public or private toilet in England and Wales which is restricted to female use. Holliday was also placed on the sex offenders’ register for seven years.
Recorder Green told him “You fitted this device because you wanted those images for your own sexual gratification. You have said you did not realise the psychological harm caused through this offending. Your victims feel humiliated, anxious and stressed by this unwanted intrusion into their privacy. There was a degree of planning here and an abuse of trust.
“In my judgement this case does cross the custody threshold but taking into account all the material available it is just possible that I can suspend the term of imprisonment.
“I refer to your lack of previous convictions and the helpful pre-sentence report. The background of this offending is that you were struggling in your married life at the time of the offence and you were also struggling in your work which led to a degree of personal stress. In addition you are taking action to deal with your addiction to pornography.”
Sunil Khanna, mitigating, told the court Holliday had no previous convictions and had begun using pornography after suffering difficulties in his marriage.
“He had been a caretaker at the college for ten years without any problems,” Mr Khanna said.
“When his marriage got in to difficulties he began using pornography, a lot of it was hidden cameras, and he decided he would have a go at it himself.
“He is lucky that his family are standing by him. He lost his job at the college but is now working as a gardener. He doesn’t want to go back in to education.”