Man given suspended sentence for spying on schoolgirls

A man who filmed and took pictures of schoolgirls at a bus stop, and had more than 400 indecent images of children, has been given a suspended jail sentence.

John Brown spied on girls and women from his flat in Wolverhampton, the city's crown court heard. The 41-year-old was rumbled when a resident at his block of flats found a USB stick, on which 'sickening' images of children were discovered.

A total of 34 category A images, the most serious, 21 category B images and 350 category C images were found, featuring children as young as eight, after the stick was passed to police by a housing officer at Hampton View flats on Woden Road, Heath Town. A job application and CV on the USB stick led police to Brown.

His home was searched and footage and images of girls and women at the bus stop were also discovered on cameras, which Judge Barry Berlin said he found 'disturbing'. Ms Sati Ruck, prosecuting, told the court:

"These offences initially came to light on October 26th, when a USB stick was found by a resident at Hampton View flats and handed in. A housing officer took the decision to access it in order to identify the owner and when he discovered what was on it contacted the police.

"Two cameras were examined. Covert photographs were discovered and a small number of videos all showing females. The images were focused on girls of a school age and adult females waiting at a bus stop outside his block."

Brown was handed a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, after pleading guilty to three counts of possessing indecent photographs of children. Judge Berlin said:

"The USB stick contained utterly perverted and indecent images. Numerous covert images were taken of girls at a bus stop, which I find disturbing."

Ms Diana Wilson, defending, added: "He had very little going on in his life and spent a lot of time on the net. Harming somebody physically is something he would never do. He needs help."

The judge said he had decided against an immediate custodial sentence as Brown had not made or distributed any images.

He added: "I think there is good in you but it needs to be nurtured."

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