A man who used a camera to film up skirts of shoppers in Queensgate shopping centre will spend Christmas behind bars.
Nigel Matt (56) of Peterborough, was locked up for a total of 20 months at Peterborough Crown Court today (Friday) after pleading guilty to outraging public decency after he took intimate videos of more than 30 women in the centre.
Matt sobbed in the dock as Thomas Brown, prosecuting, said the ex-accountant was caught by security guards in May this year.
Mr Brown said: “Matt’s behaviour attracted the attention of security guards. He was seen to be travelling up and down escalators in close proximity to women - some were wearing skirts, some were not.
“He had in his hand what is described as a ‘device’ - it looked like an old fashioned gas lighter probe used to light ovens and the like, with an extendable probe -but it was a camera.
“While he was under observation, security saw him approach two women, an older and a younger woman, and made himself into close proximity. “Security could see him taking photographs with the device of the back of the upper thigh and the crutch area.
“The security guard asked for instructions on what to do - he was told to stop the man, and police were called.”
Mr Brown said that in an initial police interview Matt made no comment - but police had the device forensically examined, and the footage recovered revealed Matt had been using the camera for more than a year, with 34 different women targeted.
When he was confronted with the evidence, he made full admissions to officers.
Along with the count of outraging public decency, Matt pleaded guilty to eight counts of voyeurism, one count of taking an indecent photo of a child, one count of possessing an indecent photo of a child. Only the count of outraging public decency relates to Queensgate. The other offences are said to have occurred in Peterborough and Bourne.
Sentencing, Judge Matthew Lowe, sentencing, said: “These offences were committed for an entirely selfish desire for sexual gratification.
“The desire overrode any regard of the impact on the victims of what you did.”
Laura Stephenson, defending, said: “He was an accountant for 36 years, He will lose his job and his house. He accepts it is down to his own actions.
“He cares for his seriously ill mother, but he is now estranged from the rest of his own family. “He accepts it is his own fault.
“He accepted his conduct in interview, and says he feels ashamed and disgusted.
“He says he accepts he has a problem, and welcomes the treatment that will be offered in prison.”
Matt was also ordered to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years, and a sexual harm prevention order was also imposed for 10 years, limiting his access to the internet, devices capable of taking and storing images and contact with children.