Suffolk rector used cellphone to film men in a public toilet
The Very Rev Martin Thrower, above, has been given a four-month suspended jail sentence for his voyeuristic behaviour in a shopping centre public toilet.
The rector of Hadleigh, Layham and Shelley has also been suspended from all roles by the Diocese of St Edmundsbury in Ipswich.
According to this report, Thrower admitted two counts of voyeurism at an earlier hearing at Norwich Crown Court.
William Carter, prosecuting, said the 56-year-old was caught when a 17-year-old heard a noise above him as he sat on the toilet at the Buttermarket shopping centre in Ipswich, Suffolk.
The teenager saw someone’s hand holding a mobile phone that was filming him over the cubicle partition. He grabbed the phone and Thrower was arrested.
Judge Katharine Moore, sentencing him yesterday, told Thrower he had been “well-regarded” by those he helped.
She sentenced Thrower on each count to four months in prison, suspended for 24 months, to run concurrently.
Thrower was also ordered to complete a 60-day course to address sex offending behaviour and a further 30-day rehabilitation course.
When he was arrested after the August 4, 2016 incident, police found three further videos recorded on his phone that day, including of two men who had not noticed they were being filmed.
Officers later found, on further examination of the phone, almost 600 similar images.
They also found four similar videos on a computer seized from Thrower’s home, as well as evidence that Thrower had accessed “professionally made pornography” on the theme of men using a toilet.
Thrower admitted taking such footage “for a couple of years since 2014” at places including supermarkets and service stations, the court heard.
Stephen Nelson said in mitigation that Thrower was of previous good character, was “deeply remorseful” and added that the public gallery was full of people supporting him.
He said Thrower was under pressure at work:
And his health had suffered to the point where he felt he needed isolation and, for want of a better word, some form of experimentation.
Hat tip: John Gresham and BarrieJohn