Nothing sexual said man caught filming up women’s skirts in bar

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A MAN spotted secretly filming up women’s skirts in a bar told police he was not doing it for any sexual reasons.

David Billsberry was caught after staff saw him acting suspiciously in Carpe Diem, in George Street, Leeds on March 20 last year.

He was found to have a camera wrapped in duct tape which he had been holding at about knee height in such a position to be able to take the pictures without his targets being aware of what he was doing.

Staff told him the police had been called and before they arrived he admitted he had a fetish, saying everybody had needs. When officers arrived he admitted being in the bar about five hours and taking pictures.

He said the duct tape was on the camera to keep the batteries in, claiming, however, that it was not sexual but rather mischievous behaviour, Catherine Hollins, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court yesterday.

She said Billsberry, who works constructing film sets, was convicted of 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.

The prosecution requested the judge to impose a sexual offences prevention order, one of the terms of which would ban him from using photographic equipment away from his home.

But James Littlehales, representing Billsberry, said such wording could affect his work on film sets when camera equipment was around, although he did not directly use them himself.

He said fortunately none of the young ladies in the recent offence was aware they had been filmed. There was also no suggestion of any further pictures being found on computer equipment or anything like that when subsequent checks were made.

He was not considered to pose a risk of serious harm and the probation service could work with him to reduce the danger of any further offending.

Billsberry, 61, of Scott Hall Avenue, Leeds admitted an offence of outraging public decency. He also admitted failing to attend court on two earlier occasions.

On one of these, Mr Littlehales said, Billsberry had “stuck his head in the sand” in having remained at home and done nothing about attending court. On Monday this week he attended court but left to sort out legal funding when he saw his name was down the list and by the time he returned had missed his slot.

Judge Sally Cahill QC jailed Billsberry for seven days for his failure to attend and said she would sentence at a later date on the other offence.