Sunday 21 July 2019

'Peeping Tom neighbour wanted to humiliate me' - man filmed naked at home

Paul Lynam is his back garden patio at the cottage where he lives at Weirview in Lucan. (Inset Thomas Kelly
Photo: Steve Humphreys
Paul Lynam is his back garden patio at the cottage where he lives at Weirview in Lucan. (Inset Thomas Kelly Photo: Steve Humphreys

A man who was secretly filmed naked on the private decking at his Dublin home by a "neighbour from hell" has said he no longer feels fully comfortable in his own space over fears he is being watched.

Paul Lynam was speaking after neighbour Thomas Kelly (66) was found guilty of using 16 CCTV cameras with live feeds to a TV in his living room to harass three of his neighbours.

He had denied the charges, maintaining a camera covered in camouflage netting was used to catch Mr Lynam engaging in a sex act at Weirview in Lucan.

Kelly is embroiled in legal proceedings in a land dispute with his neighbours in a matter that is still before the courts.

In relation to the harassment charges, Judge David McHugh found Kelly guilty at Blanchardstown District Court on four counts in 2016 and gave him a four-month suspended sentence.

Judge McHugh told Kelly he was a "neighbour from hell" and ordered him to stay away from the victims.

Judge McHugh was handed victim impact statements which he examined, but they were not read aloud to the court.

But Mr Lynam has told the Irish Independent that being filmed engaged in a private sex act on his own property where he could not be seen by anyone has been stressful.

"It affected me physically and emotionally. I lost weight and went into a depression," he said, speaking from the deck where he was secretly filmed.

"He [Kelly] was convicted, but I think he did this to humiliate and embarrass me. It's the details of the case that were added that turned the attention to me.

"If I had done anything illegal, I would have thought I would be facing a trial, but I'm not. It was him that was on trial," Mr Lynam explained.

"If I was knitting on the deck I don't think he [Kelly] would have mentioned it," he added.

During the trial in July, the non-jury court heard gardaí were alerted to the situation after Mr Lynam discovered two cameras on an elevated piece of land, described as a cliff in court, at the back of his home.

"I'd a feeling for a long time that I was being watched," he told the court.

Mr Lynam, along with two other neighbours, John Mooney and William Stapleton, whose homes were also captured by the camera, made an official complaint to gardaí on February 11, 2016.

The following day, gardaí arrived with a search warrant for Kelly's home along with two other properties he owned in the same street. Upon entering 14 Weirview, now-retired Detective Inspector Richard McDonnell said there were two large flat-screen televisions in the sitting room.

One was showing regular programmes, with the other having live feeds to all 16 of Kelly's CCTV cameras.

Kelly has said he will appeal the sentence handed to him.

Meanwhile, Mr Lynam has said he no longer feels comfortable using the decking at the back of his home, which is not overlooked by anyone and is screened-off from neighbours.

"I used to use it for entertaining and meditating, but I don't now. I keep the curtains closed because I just don't know anymore if I'm being watched," he said.

"You always have a memory of what happened, and a fear that there is another camera somewhere," Mr Lynam added.

Irish Independent

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