AN OBSESSED Rugby man spied on his partner’s teenage daughter through a hole he drilled in the bathroom wall.
Police were finally brought in when he did the same again some years later, after the family had reconciled following his earlier activity, a judge has heard.
The man in his 60s, from a village near Rugby, pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to inciting the girl to perform a sex act and two offences of voyeurism.
The man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victim, was jailed for a total of 16 months and ordered to register as a sex offender for ten years.
Prosecutor Nicholas Smith said the girl’s mother was in a relationship with the defendant, and they began living together as a family some years ago when the girl was in her early teens. That year, he tried to get her to lift her top, which she felt was ‘inappropriate.’
Later, while on holiday abroad, he asked her to show him her breasts and she again refused, despite him threatening to kick her out if she did not comply.
When the girl was in her mid teens, she was in the bathroom at their home and had undressed when she noticed a hole in the wall.
“She then saw an eye blink through the hole, and she realised it was the defendant in her mother’s bedroom,” said Mr Smith.
When she went into the bedroom to challenge him, she saw him replacing books on a shelf to cover the hole he had made.
The girl’s mother told him to leave the house and he stayed away for around two years, during which time the hole was filled in.
But then he resumed his relationship with the girl’s mother and returned to the house.
His victim, having reached her early 20s, was again about to get in the bath when she noticed a new hole in the wall.
On realising there was again an eye peering through the hole, she rushed out to confront her mother’s partner before reporting the matter to the police.
When he was arrested the defendant denied the first two matters, although he admitted the final incident, added Mr Smith.
Simon Hunka, defending, conceded: “This was of course behaviour which crosses the custody threshold. It was totally inappropriate.”
He pointed out that the young woman’s mother remains the defendant’s partner, and has written a letter in which she says he is otherwise ‘a gentle, kind and thoughtful man.’
Asking the judge to suspend any prison sentence, Mr Hunka said: “There is an honesty about his obsession about her. It was something he was deeply ashamed about.”
He added that the defendant had some ‘debilitating medical conditions,’ and a prison sentence would also put a strain on the business he runs with his partner.
But jailing the man, Judge Alan Parker told him he was “grossly over-familiar” with his victim.
“You created a hole so you could view her when she believed she was in the privacy of being behind a locked door.
“It is disgusting to imagine you were watching her in those circumstances. She must have been very distressed.
“Then after many years you made all of this immeasurably worse by repeating your behaviour. I regard that as being an extremely serious aggravating feature.”