'Peeping Tom' leaves town after threats

DAVID CLARKSON
Last updated 16:49 08/10/2012

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A man has been threatened and has left Christchurch after being labelled a peeping Tom.

Sean Robert Trimble, 44, says he made an upskirt video of a woman in a store, using his new cellphone, as a dare with his workmates.

At his Christchurch District Court sentencing today he was ordered to do 175 hours of community work.

Trimble had pleaded guilty to a charge of making an intimate visual recording and a charge of wilful damage of a changing room at The Warehouse in Hornby.

He was arrested on April 25 when he was caught carving two peepholes in a changing-room partition.

When police checked his cellphone they found a recording made on March 25 in which he had gone into a store and placed his new cellphone on an item of luggage, with its video function running.

It recorded 96 seconds of video, which included about 5sec up the skirt of an unknown woman.

Defence counsel Steve Rollo said the offending had been motivated by a dare from Trimble's workmates.

Trimble possibly suffered from depression at the time.

He was embarrassed and remorseful. He had received personal threats and had moved to another city.

He had lost his job and was now going to counselling and was on a sickness benefit because of his personal shame issues.

Judge Patrick Treston said they had been unsavoury incidents, and one of the offences carried a maximum penalty of three years' jail.

Trimble's partner and family had been surprised by his actions and indicated that the behaviour was out of character.

The judge noted that Trimble was assessed as a low risk of reoffending and had left Christchurch because of safety concerns.

Trimble had been branded as a peeping Tom, although he denied any sexual impulse for his actions.

The offending had been demeaning for the unknown woman victim, said the judge.

In some circumstances, a jail term would have been imposed.

"A message needs to be sent out to the community that this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated."

He imposed 175 hours of community work but denied a police request to destroy the cellphone and ordered that it be returned to Trimble.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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