Man sentenced for filming woman getting changed at Liverpool swimming baths
A man has been sentenced for trying to film a woman getting changed at a swimming pool in Liverpool.
The Crown Prosecution Service said that Christopher Shannon, 27, tried to film his victim on his mobile phone while she was unaware and getting changed at Lifestyles Sports Centre in Garston at 9.10pm on 8 January 2019.
The victim, who is 40, had been swimming at the pool with her daughter and had noticed the defendant loitering in the shallow end of the pool while they were swimming.
It had seemed odd to them, but they kept swimming. As the victim was getting changed later, she noticed a hand holding a phone underneath the partition with the next cubicle.
When she realised what was happening she shouted, “Who’s that?” and the person holding the phone withdrew it quickly.
She covered herself up and went to the next cubicle and banged on the door. Eventually, Shannon opened the door. The victim noticed that he still had his phone in his hand. She asked him why he had been filming her and demanded he gave her his phone.
He said he was sorry and added “I didn’t mean to” but said his phone must have been dropped on the floor of the next cubicle.
But the victim pointed out that it had been held in his hand, at an angle, above the level of the floor, with the camera pointing at her.
The victim’s daughter had by this time come over to see what was happening and said to Shannon, “if you haven’t done anything, show us your phone.” But Shannon just repeated: “I didn’t mean it”.
He then ran off to the side of the pool and they noticed that he appeared to be trying to delete what was on the phone.
They and the pool attendants eventually caught up with him and the police were called.
At North Liverpool Community Justice Centre on 1 November 2019 Shannon pleaded guilty to voyeurism (recording a private act) and was given a community order.
He must participate in specified rehabilitation activities for up to 60 days, attend a 30-day programme to address his behaviour and be supervised by the Probation Service for a rehabilitation period of three years.
A sexual harm prevention order was also issued which states that, for the next five years, Shannon must not enter any public baths, leisure centre or gym in Cheshire or Merseyside and must make any mobile phone or tablet available for inspection on request from a police officer. He also must not delete any photographs or video from the memory of such a device and must pay £175 court costs.
Angela Conlan of the CPS said: “This was a shocking act that really distressed the victim.
“Shannon invaded the privacy of a person he didn’t know and recorded her, without her being aware what was going on at all.
“This is a criminal offence and nobody should be subjected to this type of behaviour. The victim and her daughter were really distressed by what happened.
“I would like to thank them for their help, despite their distress, in helping us bring this prosecution.”
Notes to editors
- Angela Conlan is a Senior Crown Prosecutor with Mersey-Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service