A PERVERT who put secret cameras in his bathroom to record children on the toilet has been jailed for two years.
The 60-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, also put cameras in the bedrooms of his home in the Durham City area to record visiting friends and family undressing.
Another camera was put in a shower cubicle, and the man stole 43 pairs of worn knickers from his female guests, Durham Crown Court heard.
Prosecutor Ros Scot Bell said the man, from the Durham City area, carefully catalogued his collection of images on 46 hard drives and made back-up copies on DVD.
“He had computer storage space for 13million images,” added Mrs Scot Bell. “Durham police’s computer crime unit comments it is one of the biggest cases they have ever dealt with in terms of volume.
“Only 1.5 per cent of the storage has been examined, as well as the self-recorded images there were 20,425 indecent images of children downloaded from the internet.”
The man was caught after two of his female guests found recording equipment hidden in the bathroom.
A separate investigation found the man had illegally claimed £26,696 in income support, council tax and housing benefit.
His claim was legal when it began, but he failed to declare £118,000 he received from the sale of a house.
The man, who was of previous good character, admitted two charges of failing to declare a change of circumstances, two charges of theft, seven charges of voyeurism, four charges of making an indecent photograph of a child, and 15 charges of possessing an indecent photograph of a child.
He also admitted one charge of possessing an extreme pornographic image, and one charge of illegal possession of a firearm after police found a Taser stun gun in his house.
All the offences happened between 2007 and 2011.
Andrew Findlay, defending, said in mitigation, the man set up the cameras because a medical condition meant he could not achieve sexual gratification in the way he used to.
Judge Christopher Prince jailed the man for two years.
The judge said: “Your victims are understandably profoundly disturbed by your behaviour, and some are fearful naked images of themselves will appear online.
“There is no evidence you distributed any of these images, the sentence would have been much longer had you done so.”
The man’s computer equipment was confiscated and will be destroyed.
A Sexual Offences Prevention Order bans him from unsupervised contact with children, and he must sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years.