Southland man who filmed employee in shower gets permanent name deletion

The decision to grant the name permanent removal to a Southland man who filmed his employee taking a shower has left the victim’s family disgusted. Photo / Nick Reed

The decision to grant permanent name removal to a Southland man who filmed his 18-year-old employee taking a shower has left the victim’s family disgusted.

The 38-year-old was sentenced yesterday by Invercargill District Court after admitting to attempting to make an intimate video recording in connection with an incident in October last year.

Judge John Strettell sentenced the man to 12 months of surveillance and granted him permanent deletion of his name after reviewing a report from a psychologist expressing concerns for his safety.

Speaking to the Otago Daily Times outside of court, the victim’s family said they were shocked and disappointed with the court’s decision.

Financial redress was discussed, but the family didn’t want the man’s money – they just wanted justice.

They said they feared the same fate would be suffered by another family.

“My son didn’t deserve this. My son had the courage to speak up to prevent this from happening with another boy, but now we can’t tell anyone.

“It [the defendant] has 12 months of someone watching him, while my son has the rest of his life to live with it.

“Today it was about getting a shutdown and being able to deal with it, but it didn’t help.”

The 18-year-old victim was working away from Invercargill when the man attempted to film him twice in the shower.

While his employer, the accused was also a close friend of the family and was a kind of “big brother” to the victim, the court said.

Yesterday the victim’s father read his son’s victim impact statement in court.

The victim described how he felt betrayed by the man and was unable to leave his home for a month after the incident.

He still had flashbacks to the episode, the court heard.

The victim and his family asked the judge not to grant the removal of the man’s name, as they believed the publication of his name would prevent him from doing the same with other boys.

It would also allow the victim to speak freely about what happened to them and move on.

Defense lawyer Richard Little said it was his client’s first offense and that he was undergoing psychological treatment.

He was depressed, on medication, and publishing his name would cause him even more difficulty.

Little said his client would never commit the same offense again.

“The court can be confident that it will stick to what it says.”

Justice Strettell acknowledged the traumatic effect the episode would have on the victim’s life and thanked the family for their statements.

He said the man’s conduct violated community standards, but he was convinced that the publication of his name could have a serious psychological impact on the accused.

“There is a real and serious possibility of self-harm. I cannot ignore it.”

He sentenced the man to 12 months of surveillance with all the conditions imposed by the correctional services to be observed.

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