Teenager used mobile to photograph woman in changing room at Gosport Leisure Centre

Gosport Leisure Centre
Gosport Leisure Centre
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A TEENAGER has been given 150 hours of unpaid work to do after taking a photo of a woman in a changing room.

Robert Wheatley, 18, used a mobile phone to photograph the female victim in a cubicle at Gosport Leisure Centre.

Wheatley, of Fisher Road, Bridgemary, Gosport, was in the cubicle next to the woman when he put the phone under the divider and took the picture.

Vivian Ducie, prosecuting, told Fareham Magistrates’ Court the female victim went into shock when she saw a phone coming under the cubicle from the one next door.

He told the court the victim had removed her towel and was putting her underwear on when she saw the phone.

Reading the victim’s statement, he said: ‘I now see a phone from the cubicle next to mine. It was approximately five inches off the floor. I had to turn around to hide myself.’

Centre staff were then called to the incident. He said the victim’s statement also said she did not consider the incident on January 23 a prank and she feared the image could be downloaded.

He added: ‘Although she goes to the swimming baths she cannot go to the cubicle where this happened.’

Defending, Natalie Dennington said Wheatley pleaded guilty at the earliest chance and had been open and honest in a police interview.

She said Wheatley had hopes of teaching sports that would now be unlikely following his conviction.

Ms Dennington said: ‘He’s shown a lot of remorse to the police and probation.’

She added: ‘He’s a young man who lives at home with his mother. He didn’t do fantastically in his GCSEs.’

Chairman of the magistrates Georgette Houlbrook said: ‘This is a serious offence committed in a public place where the victim should have felt secure.

‘We’ve taken into account the fact that you were 17 at the time of the offence, that you showed remorse and that you pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.’

Wheatley was given a 12-month community order, 12 months of supervision and 150 hours of unpaid work.

He was ordered to pay £85 in costs, £60 to a fund for victims and told to comply with notification orders under the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

The defence applied for an order banning the press identifying Wheatley but this was rejected by magistrates after a submission from The News.

n Police are appealing for information after an 11-year-old girl saw a mobile phone put under her cubicle at Gosport Leisure Centre on May 28. The offender is unknown. Call police on 101.