Pervert supervisor at Co Antrim care home recorded his colleague in the shower
A senior supervisor at a care home for vulnerable adults in Carrickfergus started a three-month prison sentence today after appearing in court on a charge of recording a colleague in the shower for his own sexual gratification.
Myles Gilchrist - who was a senior supervisor at the Ellis Grove care facility when he committed the act of voyeurism last September - was also placed on the sex offenders register for seven years.
Deputy District Judge Neil Rafferty said the offence of voyeurism which Gilchrist admitted was one which "violated, humiliated, ridiculed and belittled" his victim.
Branding the offence as "nasty and mean", Mr Rafferty also spoke of the significant breach of trust - especially give the fact that at the time, Gilchrist held a position of responsibility.
Gilchrist (47), from Magheralave Grange in Lisburn, admitted a charge of 'observing a woman doing a private act' without her consent on September 12, 2014.
A representative from the Public Prosecution Service said the incident came to light when police were called to the Co Antrim care home regarding reports of a camera being found in a shower room used by staff.
The court heard a female member of staff had just had a shower when she noticed the camera in Gilchrist's washbag.
Police seized the camera, and when the footage was observed it showed Gilchrist positioning the camera in the shower room. Also present on the footage was a recording of Gilchrist's female colleague getting undressed and showering before noticing the hidden camera in the washbag.
The prosecutor said that the camera's red recording light has also been taped over.
When Gilchrist was interviewed, he initially claimed that he sometimes used the camera to record his partner, and also made the case that he had the camera in work on the day in question but thought it was turned off.
He subsequently admitted the charge of voyeurism.
A solicitor representing Gilchrist said the incident involved a female colleague, it was a "non-contact offence" and there was "no evidence that the residents .. were affected."
Saying Gilchrist was "well aware" how serious the offence was, the solicitor pointed out that his client came before the court with a clear criminal record.
The solicitor also said that at the time of his offending, Gilchrist was suffering from a "significant psychiatric problem" and insomnia which affected his judgement and decison-making - as well as having issues with gambling and alcohol.
Saying "the worst mistake of his life was undertaking this recording", the solicitor told deputy district judge Neil Rafferty that Gilchrist acknowledged what he had done and was remorseful.
He also revealed that when Gilchrist's offending came to light, he was suspended from work, before saying that the offence was "impulsive".
This prompted Mr Rafferty to ask the solicitor: "What is impulsive about adapting a video camera so that it doesn't give off the tell-tale red light?
"What is impulsive about hiding that camera in a wash bag where you can film a female colleague showering? What is impulsive about that?"
The deputy district judge then addressed Gilchrist, telling him that he carried out a "nasty and mean offence". Mr Rafferty continued: "In your particular case there are a number of aggravating factors.
"(There was) clear and deliberate pre-meditation on your part. You adapted the video camera so it would not give off the tell-tale light. You secreted that video camera in your wash bag. You then moved that camera about so you got the best view you could.
"All of this was done at a time when you were a senior supervisor."
Mr Rafferty also branded the act as a "significant breach of trust" and said "this was a cunning effort to film this lady, simply for your own sexual gratification."
Gilchrist was sentenced to serve three months in prison, and was also told "by virtue of the nature of this offending" that he will be placed on the sex offenders register for seven years.
As he was led from the dock, the woman who was recorded by Gilchrist broke down in tears in the public gallery and was comforted by her family.