This is the suspected Peeping Tom who allegedly spied on a 12-year-old girl and her mother in their home after rigging a hidden camera to his roof, and claiming it was in the name of art.
Magherafelt graphic artist Rodney Seffen (38) has been accused in court of spying on the girl through her bedroom window, using a camera hidden in the chimney area of his home across the street.
The self-employed designer said he used the recording device for work purposes to make “3D models and character figures”, a claim the magistrate dismissed as “nothing short of laughable”.
Seffen, of Highfield Road in the Co Londonderry town, faces four voyeurism charges relating to a period between some time in 2007 and August 2009.
The charges put to Seffen in Londonderry Magistrate’s Court yesterday were one of voyeurism, one of preparing for voyeurism by installing equipment, one of recording a person carrying out a private act and one of operating equipment for voyeurism.
A police constable told the court that police had discovered a camera placed through slates in the roof of Seffen’s home. “This was zoomed into the bedroom window across the street and there are matters linked over a number of years,” he said.
When asked by Magistrate Des Perry on the age of the girl, who occupies the house with her mother and sister, the constable replied: “She may have been as young as 12 in the initial stages of the offences. The camera wasn’t solely directed at one person in the house and the defendant has admitted to monitoring others in the past.”
The constable told the court he could connect the accused to the charges. When asked if Seffen had shown remorse, the officer said: “None. Nothing whatsoever.” A defending solicitor said that Seffen had used the camera for “the purposes of his employment”.
She said that the images were not used for sexual gratification.
A bail address, that of Seffen’s sister, was objected to by the Public Prosecution Service after it was noted six children lived there. Seffen was remanded in custody to appear in September.