Four months jail for man who hid camera in soap box for ‘own sexual gratification’

Dungannon Courthouse

Dungannon Courthouse

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A 40-year-old man who hid a camera inside a soap box to film his ex-girlfriend’s sister having a bath has been sentenced to four months in jail by Dungannon Magistrates.

The court heard today (Wednesday) how Bartosz Czeslaw Szadkowski, who now lives on Manor Street in Belfast, had contested the case with a “baseless defence”.

Passing down sentence to the Russian speaker, District Judge John Meehan accused him of using “striking aggressive behaviour from the word go” in relation to a case that has left his victim suffering nightmares and concerned for her safety.

Adding that the footage he took for his own “sexual gratification” has never been recovered.

Szadkowski, who appeared in court for sentencing on April 6, denied charges of voyeurism and common assault before he was found guilty at a contest in February.

Defence counsel told the court his client had come to “this country” to improve his life and was working in an “excellent job”, before adding that the offence was “very unusual”.

And although “resigned to a custodial sentence of some form” asked that it not be an immediate one.

Before passing sentence, Judge Meehan told Szadkowski his behaviour on May 11, 2014 was “disturbing” and a led to a “most traumatic experience” for his victim and her sister, whom he had branded “liars” throughout.

“One of the enduring issues for the victim is that she will never know what happened to the footage,” Judge Meehan added.

“The memory card in that camera... contributes to the nightmares and distress.”

He then went on to say one of the main issues arising from the case is there is so much opportunity to post such images on the web.

The defendant was handed four months for installing camera equipment in the bathroom, and a further, consecutive three months for assault. He has appealed.