A SCHOOL caretaker was caught secretly filming uspkirt footage with a ‘covert camera’ while pretending to tie his laces.
Barry Gillespie was quickly sacked from his job of 30 years after police found he had footage of 17 unsuspecting victims recorded in shops.
He had never intended that anyone would be harmed by his actionsAngela Parkins
Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court heard the alarm was raised at Nike in Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth, when the 53-year-old was spotted trying to film up a woman’s skirt at the sports store.
Now Leah Winberg – the only victim who has been identified by police who seized Gillespie’s camera – has told of her disgust at the pervert’s actions.
Leah, 20, was 19 when she was working at Fraser Hart in Gunwharf last year.
She said: ‘I was in shock when I first found out. Above this though the first thing I wanted to do was get justice for the other unidentified girls, I was disgusted.’
Leah, who said police told her Gillespie would pretend to tie his shoelaces when shooting the footage, added: ‘It’s a sexual violation of privacy and trust that you have with other members of the public.
‘And if you’re going to be that disgusting human being who violates that trust there are repercussions for such perverse and disgusting actions.’
Gillespie, who was allowed to leave from a side exit at court to avoid being photographed, was spared a prison term.
When he was caught in Portsmouth police found earlier footage revealing he had previously struck in Southampton.
Opening the case, prosecutor Graham Heath said: ‘It involves the defendant using effectively a covert camera when he’s out, clearly placing it up the skirts of females. The prosecution say it’s clearly for sexual gratification.
‘He accepts that there are no less than 16/17 people who can be identified, individuals who have been recorded whilst out and about and clearly unaware of what he’s up to.
‘On December 29 he was caught.
‘That occurred in Portsmouth. It would appear to be a case where a member of the public in Gunwharf Quays, specifically the Nike store, was aware of what he was doing and raised the alarm.
‘The person who he was targeting was spoken to briefly but chose to leave before the police took a statement, perhaps unsurprisingly in the circumstances.
‘But fortunately as a result of that the defendant was detained and equipment seized and inspected.’
Police investigated as ‘thoroughly as they are able’ and that officers looked to see if his actions had gone on a long time or if footage had been ‘posted online’ but the ‘full extent’ of what he had done had been brought to court.
Mr Heath said nine victims were filmed on December 29 in Portsmouth last year.
Angela Parkins, for Gillespie, who has no previous convictions, said: ‘He’s taken full responsibility for this offending. This defendant has displayed genuine remorse for his actions.’
After being caught Gillespie has lost his job of 30 years, his home of 20 years and a 16-year relationship. Ms Parkins added: ‘In February 2017 he attempted suicide, a real attempt to take his own life and that led to him being sectioned.’
Ms Parkins, who said he had carried out the offences on two days with a month gap in-between, added: ‘He had never intended that anyone would be harmed by his actions.
‘The last thing he wished was that others would be affected by his actions.’
Magistrates said Gillespie’s life had been a ‘disaster’ since he was caught for taking ‘unfortunate photographs’.
Gillespie, of Fort Street, Sandown, Isle of Wight, was handed a three-year community order with a sex offender treatment programme and 20 days of rehabilitation activities.
He admitted three charges of committing an act outraging public decency, in Portsmouth, and once in Southampton between January 1 and December 28, 2016. His lawyer said it was in November.
He must pay £85 prosecution costs and an £85 victim surcharge. The ‘covert camera’ must be forfeited and destroyed.