Pervert used spy camera to film female shoppers

A pervert rigged up a spy camera inside a shopping bag – and took pictures up the skirts of unsuspecting female shoppers in a supermarket.

Unmarried John Bannister was caught red handed in Morrisons’ supermarket at Pendeford after a customer told staff the 38-year-old was behaving strangely, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.

He was pushing a trolley round the store while carrying a black bag that was being pushed up to women shoppers, said Miss Sharonjit Bahia, prosecuting.

Staff called the police who found a camcorder glued to a hole in the bag under a false base, with a tin of potatoes acting as a counter balance to ensure it was pointed upwards, continued the lawyer.

Bachelor Bannister, who was of previous good character, confessed that he started the camera recording before entering a shop and spent up to 40 minutes filming inside the premises while supposedly buying goods, the court was told. He then downloaded the footage at home and admitted to doing this for up to three years.

Police later also found hundreds of pornographic pictures of girls as young as six that he had downloaded from the internet on to his home computer, revealed Miss Bahia.

Mr David Bratt, defending, said: “He had an unhealthy fascination in looking at, and taking, inappropriate images. He has since been suffering from depression and has been off work for 12 months.”

Bannister from Willowdale Grange, Tettenhall, who was caught at the Morrisons store at 4.50pm on November 20 2012, admitted outraging public decency and making almost 250 indecent images between May 2010 and November 2012.

Judge Martin Walsh told him: “You secreted a camera and were attempting to record images under the clothing of females in shops. You had also downloaded indecent images of children on to your computer.

“This is not a victimless crime because images of this sort show the abuse of real children but there is no evidence that you were forwarding them to third parties.

“I believe that the interest of the public would be best served with a community order conditional on you attending the sex offender programme.”

The order will operate under supervision for three years. Bannister was also put on the Sex Offenders Register for five years and made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order for seven years.