A school caretaker who hid a camera in a toilet used by female teachers has been jailed after he was filmed by his own device while installing it.
Matthew Stupples, 42, lived on-site at Wimbledon Park Primary School in south-west London and had worked there for almost 15 years. Last summer, he attached an out-of-order notice to one of two cubicles in a female adult toilet in the school, meaning teachers had to use the adjacent loo. It wasn’t until a sports academy hired the school facilities for the day that one of their staff discovered a micro-camera attached to the toilet roll holder and alerted police.
Officers searched Stupples’s house and found 76 videos and nearly 150,000 still frames showing more than 50 separate instances of people using the toilet. One involved a child being assisted by a teacher. Stupples initially denied fitting the camera but jurors at Kingston Crown Court heard how his face was ‘very clearly visible’ in footage he had captured that showed him installing the device.
He later pleaded guilty to four counts of voyeurism and one count of taking an indecent photo of a child. Almost a year after the camera was found, it emerged Stupples had used the same camera to film two women showering at his home on the school grounds. One of the women told the court she felt ‘violated and disgusted’ after discovering she had been filmed in this way.
The victim said: ‘When I’m reminded that he used these images for his sexual gratification, I feel my stomach turn. I fear seeing my body appear on the internet or on television. ‘There hasn’t been a day after seeing those images that I have felt normal. I would never wish this on anyone.’ Stupples lost his job and home after the footage was discovered and had since moved in with his elderly parents and sister, his lawyer said.
Sentencing, Judge Alexandra Healy QC said the out-of-order sign and maintenance of the camera showed ‘a significant degree of planning’ by Stupples. He added: ‘Given the period of time that you falsely proclaimed your innocence I can’t judge that you have demonstrated real remorse.’
Stupples was sentenced to 33 months in prison, half of which will be served on licence, as well as a five-year sexual harm prevention order and a five-year restraining order.
Speaking after the trial, a teacher from the school who did not wish to be named, said: ‘He should have got more, for the impact and upset that he’s caused.
‘It doesn’t feel like the end. We don’t know what else he could have been filming. He’s not bothered he’s done it, he’s bothered he got caught.’
How to find a hidden camera
Darken the room and switch on the camera on your mobile phone, scan the room, look at wall sockets, smoke alarms, clocks etc if you see a small bright LED sized light then Bingo, you found it!