The athletes – in the city to train for London 2012 – were shocked to spot Declan Crosbie, of Lea Farm Place, Kirkstall, Leeds, watching them as they undressed at The Edge centre at Leeds University. When staff knocked on the door of the toilet, Crosbie tried to convince them he was a woman by responding in a high-pitched voice.
The 25-year-old, who is already on the Sex Offender Register, then ran off, with his flies undone, to evade capture.
Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard the incident happened last Friday morning – less than a week after China’s athletes arrived in the city.
Karen Williams, prosecuting, told the court three female swimmers reported seeing a man looking over a cubicle at them and a receptionist, a security officer and the duty manager went to investigate. “When they approached and challenged him he answered in a woman’s voice,” she said.
When Crosbie came out he was dressed smartly and was carrying a bag but his flies were undone.
“He was told they were going to phone the police and he broke free from the security officer and escaped,” Miss Williams said. He was later arrested.
Crosbie has a history of spying on women for sexual gratification, including in 2005 a conviction for harassment and voyeurism after climbing onto a kitchen roof to film a woman showering. In 2009 he was jailed for trespassing with intent to commit a sexual offence after sneaking into a student house.
Yesterday Crosbie admitted trespassing with intent to commit a sexual offence in relation to the most recent incident. He was remanded in custody to appear at Leeds Crown Court for sentencing next month.