Jail for pensioner who filmed girls in shower

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The Independent Online

A pensioner who secretly filmed young girls as they showered in his bathroom was jailed for three years today.

Tom Cole, 67, installed a covert camera in the ceiling and filmed two girls aged 10 and 15 as they undressed and showered at the house in Sidcup, south-east London, on or before April 14 last year.



Cole, who taught archery to Scouts and in schools, was caught after an internet service provider told police hundreds of indecent images of children were being downloaded to his computer, Southwark Crown Court in London heard.



Police searched his home and found more than 500 indecent images of children on his computer, along with videos of the two young girls.



Jailing Cole for three years today, judge Stephen Robbins told him: "Courts, when passing appropriate sentences, have to reflect the absolute revulsion felt by the public and these girls and their families.



"You know the time has come when you must be punished for these entirely vile and repulsive offences that you committed."



The judge said Cole had made a "gross breach of trust" placed in him by the girls and added: "These offences are so serious immediate custodial sentences, and lengthy ones at that, are appropriate."



Cole was also ordered to sign the sex offenders' register for life and was banned from having any further contact with children under 16.



Cole, who has since moved to Enbrook Valley, Folkestone, Kent, showed no emotion as he was jailed for 18 months for two counts of voyeurism and a further 18 months for 14 counts of downloading indecent images of children, aged seven to 14.



He was also jailed for 15 months for possessing extreme pornography but that sentence will run concurrently.



Peter Zinner, prosecuting, read a victim impact statement from the 15-year-old girl in which she said she felt "sick" when told what Cole had done.



"She started to drink alcohol to make what she had been told go away," Mr Zinner said.



She said she "hated" what had been done and added that she "wanted the person responsible to be dead".



Cole was a "sick man" who had ruined her life, she said.



In her own statement, the mother of the 10-year-old girl said it was a "terrible shock" and she would never trust anyone with her daughter again.



The girl's mother added that her daughter had not been told what had happened because she feared she would be "horrified and devastated".



Cole, who has no previous convictions and pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing, showed no emotion as he was sent down.