Sunday 23 November 2014

Worker planted hidden camera in ladies' toilet

Andrew Phelan

Published 05/08/2014 | 12:10

pic.1. David Westby, Seanfort Avenue,Irishtown..at CCJ
David Westby

A man secretly filmed two female colleagues in the ladies' toilets of a Dublin 4 office.

David Westby (49) had worked for years with the victims when he put the video recorder in place at their office building and filmed them using the facilities.

Dublin District Court heard the episode had adversely affected the health of one of the women who spoke of the "violation and betrayal" she felt.

Judge Michael Walsh ordered Westby to pay her €4,500 to cover her medical expenses, while the other victim wanted no financial compensation from him.

Judge Walsh adjourned the case for a community service suitability report, recommending 240 hours instead of a nine-month sentence.

Westby, with an address at Seafort Avenue, Irishtown, pleaded guilty to harassing the two women. The offences happened on dates between June 1 and December 4, 2012 at an office building in Dublin 4.

The court heard the accused placed a video recording device in the female toilets, which was discovered by one of the victims.

She made a complaint and the device was examined by the garda technical bureau. A number of video clips of both victims totalling 45 minutes were retrieved. The accused made admissions when interviewed by gardai.

He had worked at the firm for 30 years and was sacked when the offence came to light. He had worked with one of the women for many years and the other for eight.

Probation and medical reports were handed in to court, as well as character references. Victim impact statements were also presented to the court by Gda Stephen Homan.

Defence solicitor Jeremy Ring said the defendant was remorseful and had written letters of apology to the victims.

He was attending a psychologist, had received psychiatric out-patient treatment and is due to go for counselling when the case is finalised.

Mr Ring said Westby lived in a "good address" but was now unemployed and the €4,500 he had in compensation was "basically the last of his savings".

His employment prospects for the future were "not great".

Testimonials spoke of his "loyalty, his friendship and his previous good character".

The first victim said in her statement that she would not accept "any monetary funds by way of compensation".

The second victim stated that she had suffered anxiety, upset and distress "which necessitated medical intervention".

Her statement painted a picture of "violation and betrayal by a colleague with whom she worked closely for over eight years".

This episode has had an adverse effect on her health, the judge said.

A probation report described the accused's "difficult childhood" and noted that he appeared to understand the consequences of his actions.

The judge recommended 240 hours' community service instead of a nine-month sentence.

hnews@herald.ie

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