Filming up women’s skirts a ‘most enormous invasion of privacy’ says judge

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A MAN caught secretly filming up women’s skirts in a bar has been given a suspended jail sentence.

David Billsberry was spotted by staff acting suspiciously in Carpe Diem in George Street, Leeds on March 20 last year and when he was challenged he was found to have a camera wrapped in duct tape.

He was in the bar for about five hours and had been holding the camera at knee height taking pictures so his targets were not aware of what he was doing.

Billsberry told staff he had a fetish and everybody had their needs, said Catherine Hollins, prosecuting, though he later claimed to police his actions were not sexual but mischievous behaviour and that the tape was simply to keep the batteries in the camera.

Sentencing him yesterday at Leeds Crown Court Judge Sally Cahill QC said: “I am satisfied it had a sexual motive, you can deny that all you like.”

“It is fortunate that your victims on this occasion weren’t aware of what was going on, but that doesn’t make your actions any less serious.

“It is the most enormous invasion of privacy, it is inexcusable,” said the Judge.

Billsberry, 61, of Scott Hall Avenue, Leeds, admitted outraging public decency and was given an eight months jail sentence suspended for two years with supervision, 200 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £340 costs.

He was also banned under a sexual offences prevention order from having possession of photographic equipment outside his home except for a mobile phone which must be available to be examined if requested.

Earlier this week, Billsberry was jailed for seven days for failing to attend court when he should have done.

At that hearing the judge was told Billsberry had a conviction for voyeurism in 2004 when he was lodging with a female in a flat in Scarborough and installed camera equipment in a disused fireplace to record her changing her clothes. James Littlehales representing Billsberry, who works constructing film sets, said he was not found to have any further photographs at home on computer equipment or anything like that when checks were made.