Friday 23 March 2018

Man found guilty of putting spy-cam in Ulster Folk museum's disabled toilets

Colin McCarroll the Bangor man was accused of hiding a camera in an Ulster Folk and Transport Museum staff toilet
Colin McCarroll the Bangor man was accused of hiding a camera in an Ulster Folk and Transport Museum staff toilet

Sara Girvin, Belfast Telegraph

Bangor man Colin David McCarroll put a spy-cam in disabled toilets at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum.

The 28-year-old  worked in the finance department at the top tourist attraction.

Yesterday he appeared at Newtownards Magistrate’s Court where he was convicted of voyeurism.

McCarroll denied the charge claiming he’d been set up as part of an ongoing campaign of workplace victimisation.

But his version of events was branded “a tissue of lie upon lie upon lie” by a judge.

The court was told that on September 21 last year a museum photographer discovered a camera taped to the back of a toilet in an administration block on the Cultra site.

The snapper told the court he noticed the device had a USB socket and checked its contents on his work computer.

He spotted a video file that had recorded a male member of staff using the bathroom — and, separately, McCarroll fixing the device in place.

Staff were then warned about the camera’s presence and police were called in.

McCarroll, ospoke to one of his superiors at the museum and said that he might have prodded the camera on the day it was discovered.

The PSNI questioned father-of-one McCarroll in September and November, and according to a detective constable who gave evidence he changed his story between the interviews.

During the final interview, the court heard, McCarroll admitted that he owned a similar camera to the one that was discovered in the disabled toilet.

He claimed he’d been set up, telling the court that he’d bought the camera to tape workplace harassment he’d suffered.

He said he’d been victimised by other members of staff and was “the usual suspect” when anything went wrong.

He said this stemmed from two investigations into missing money where he’d been accused of taking cash despite being innocent.

McCarroll made further claims that he’d brought the camera into work but left it on his desk from where he said it was stolen.

He said he’d found the camera taped to the toilet and removed it but felt that he was “falling into a trap” and put it back a short time later.

Summing up, District Judge Gerard Trainor described the prosecution case as “bulletproof” and said McCarroll had admitted “lies and omissions” during interviews with the authorities.

“The defendant came into this court to tell me a tissue of lies, one lie after another,” said the judge.

“He left his workplace and the police station having told one lie after another, and expects me to consider that he is the one telling the truth.

“It’s a tissue of lie upon lie upon lie.”

The case was adjourned until next month for sentencing.

McCarroll was released on £500 bail plus a £500 surety, and as part of his bail conditions he was banned from being alone with anyone under the age of 18, barred from entering the grounds of the Folk and Transport Museum and banned from owning a camera.

Belfast Telegraph

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