Man photographed showering at pool for 'a joke'

JOELLE DALLY
Last updated 09:22 08/08/2014

Police have warned a man for taking a cellphone photo of a naked man in the changing rooms at a public pool, supposedly as a "joke".

The photo taker, 21, who was at Pioneer Recreation and Sports Centre with members of a Christchurch sports team on Tuesday evening, took the picture on his phone's Snapchat application as the man showered.

Snapchat allows people to share images for up to 10 seconds.

He showed it to the victim, laughed, and ran off, police said.

The Christchurch City Council is investigating and has asked the sports club for a response.

"The initial response was to support the complainant and offer whatever assistance was required," a spokeswoman said.

"The duty officer then took control of the situation and attempted to identify the alleged photographer. It would appear that his attempt to do this was obstructed by some of the players."

The rules were clearly displayed at reception and at poolside.

"Our conditions of entry state, ‘Under no circumstances may you take a photograph or video, or use any other photographic device, within any changing room in this facility'," she said.

The victim complained to police. Detective Sergeant James Simpson said the two players helped police identify the 21-year-old offender, who was not a member of the club.

The offender admitted to taking the photograph on Snapchat as he "thought he was being funny", Simpson said. He had recently arrived in New Zealand and could not read the warning signs.

''He did it because he thought it was some sort of joke. It was a very poor taste joke,'' Simpson said. ''He thought he was being funny. He now knows it was not."

The man had been warned and told it was an "inappropriate" way to behave. Police checked the photo was not sent to anyone, nor disseminated on social media. It had been deleted from the phone.

The incident would stay on police records.

A sports club representative, asked about the council allegations players obstructed pool security staff, said, "I wasn't there, I can't respond to that".

Police were considering whether or not to give the man's identity to the council to decide if a trespass order was necessary.

TRESPASS NOTICES

The Christchurch City Council has issued 27 trespass notices to people for indecent, lewd, abusive or threatening behaviour or theft at its pools since 2011:

7 were at Pioneer Recreation and Sports Centre.

19 were at Jellie Park Recreation and Sports Centre.

1 was at Graham Condon Recreation and Sports Centre.

- The Press

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