A Sheffield man who ‘ruined his good name’ by filming women on hidden cameras and downloading child abuse images has been spared an immediate prison sentence.
When South Yorkshire Police raided Michael Addey’s home in Harwood Gardens, Waterthorpe on January 16 this year, he made ‘full admissions that he had been downloading indecent images of children,’ said Cheryl Dudley, prosecuting.
Electronic devices were taken from his home for examination, and officers found over 100 child abuse images, the majority of which were ‘inaccessible’ as a result of his attempts to delete them.
Ms Dudley told Sheffield Crown Court today that police found 38 images of Category A – the most serious of the legal categories for indecent images, which is defined as material that shows children being raped.
Addey, aged 55, was also found to have 28 Category B images and 67 Category C images.
Further inspection of Addey’s devices led to the discovery of videos and images he had recorded of two women, using hidden cameras.
“It’s clear that neither female knew they were being filmed by him,” said Ms Dudley.
During the course of two police interviews, Addey admitted to filming the two women without their knowledge, and said he had been downloading indecent images of children for around four years.
He pleaded guilty to charges of recording a person doing a private act; installing equipment to film a person doing a private act as well as two counts of possession of indecent images of children and one count of making indecent images of children at an earlier hearing.
Under the law, 'making' an indecent image can refer to the 'opening, accessing, downloading and storing of online content'.
Addey’s barrister, Dermot Hughes, said in mitigation: “He is thoroughly ashamed of himself. He can not properly understand how it came to this, but he knows he is responsible for the entirety of it.”
“He has lost his good name...he has fallen from a great height, and again, he knows he has no-one but himself to blame for that.”
Mr Hughes told the court that since his arrest in January, Addey had ‘attended every course one can’ in a bid to try and tackle the issues that led him to commit such offences.
Judge David Dixon sentenced Addey to 22 months in prison, suspended for two years, and made him the subject of a two-year community order, which includes a 40-day rehabilitation activity requirement.
He also made him the subject of a 15-year sexual harm prevention order.