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Voyeur doctor facing jail term

A leading doctor who used a sophisticated network of hidden cameras to secretly record patients has been told to expect a "significant" prison term when he is sentenced tomorrow.

Renowned specialist Dr Lam Hoe Yeoh, 62, today admitted fixing tiny devices to toilets in St Anthony's Hospital in North Cheam, South London, as well as medical premises and train toilets across the UK, purely for his own sexual gratification.

Police discovered children as young as three were among Yeoh's more than 1,100 victims. He was only caught when he inadvertently filmed himself securing a camera in a staff toilet - the device later fell from its hiding place and was discovered by staff.

Prosecutor Peter Clement said it was a "sophisticated, organised, planned and long-running campaign of voyeurism, the scale of which is vast and beyond any previously encountered by the Metropolitan Police Service".

During the sentencing hearing for father-of-three Yeoh at Croydon Crown Court today, Recorder Warwick McKinnon said: "A custodial sentence has to be passed in this case. It must be obvious that a serious and significant (sentence) must be considered. It is not a sentence I can deliver nor anyone can deliver on the hoof."

Yeoh was remanded in custody ahead of sentencing tomorrow morning.

He pleaded guilty to seven counts of voyeurism, six counts of making an indecent image of a child, and one count of possessing extreme pornography. Yeoh held his head in his hands as details of his offending - including graphic accounts of the files' contents - were disclosed to the court. The charges relate to the period January 1 2011 to April 15 this year, although police suspected a longer period of offending.

His wife, Ivy Muihong Sng, 57, also of Garratts Lane, Banstead, had a count of voyeurism against her discontinued and was free to walk from the dock.

One woman in the packed public gallery wiped away tears as Yeoh, wearing a dark suit and a grey shirt, was led into the courtroom.

Several of her supporters gasped as details of count 13 - possessing extreme pornography which appeared to show women performing oral sex on animals - were read out.

Mr Clement said the voyeurism charges included a handful of identifiable victims, as well as 1,084 whose identity was unknown.

He said the crimes were uncovered following "a single, discrete incident" at St Anthony's Hospital in April this year.

Mr Clement said: "He (Yeoh) visited a toilet block and went to a lavatory near the desk where two ladies had been working.

"Then he left. He had secreted a covert video recording device.

"The device fell from the position when it was recovered by one of the two ladies.

"Examination that day showed the device had captured and recorded one of those ladies using the lavatory.

"But he had inadvertently filmed himself securing that device. It was what the police found subsequently that gave rise to these offences."

Mr Clement said Yeoh "grossly abused" the high degree of trust placed in him.

The offending took place in a number of locations across the country, including Portland Hospital in central London, and medical facilities in Exeter, Sutton and Thames Ditton.

Yeoh also filmed people in his own home after they were invited for a social event, and in train lavatories.

Yeoh's footage was saved to a hard drive and/or a USB, and voyeuristic films were found on both his home computer and his NHS work computer.

Mr Clement told the court the footage was labelled with "graphic descriptions" that included dates and names. One label included the description "front and back".

Yeoh spliced together footage to create compilation films, the court heard.

The court heard that he used a range of devices to capture footage, including pen drives and watches.

When police carried out searches following Yeoh's arrest, they discovered 22 covert cameras and a slew of personal computers.

Mr Clement said Yeoh labelled footage according to the content - occasionally including a victim's name - and focused on a victim's genitals. Some footage included a woman changing her sanitary towel.

Although only around 30 victims were able to be identified, one woman was secretly recorded 300 times.

Mr Clement said that both a patient and her daughter were filmed using the lavatory at a clinic in Nottingham by Yeoh.

The court heard that Yeoh did not restrict his filming to women.

Mr Clement said Yeoh met a husband and wife at a dance class and then invited them to his home where each of them was filmed on the toilet.

The court heard a 12-year-old girl, a patient of Yeoh, was filmed in a lavatory in a hospital and the image was saved on five separate devices.

The child's parents said they were "saddened" that someone they thought genuinely cared for their daughter "as a patient and a person" would act as he did, Mr Clement told the court.

When Yeoh was arrested, a USB hanging around his neck contained footage labelled "Cardiff Train Teenager".

Other children featured in his footage are believed to be aged 3-4, 5, 8-10, 13 or 14 and 12. The court heard one particular piece of footage was labelled "teen's bottom".

Mr Clement told the court: "The impact of these breaches of trust upon each victim who has provided a statement is profound and continues to be so."

He said victims have described "distress, sense of betrayal and thereafter anger" at a man they say they had "absolute trust" in.

Mr Clement said almost all victims express a sense of unease at using any bathroom other than their own and are "slow to trust" others.

He said one victim received counselling for what she described as "psychological and emotional trauma". Other victims find themselves searching unfamiliar rooms before settling, while some have experienced lack of sleep and loss of appetite.

Defence counsel Sally O'Neill QC said her client tried to be "as frank as he could" when the investigation into his behaviour began.

Ms O'Neill said the defendant, originally from Malaysia, became "fascinated" with children's books and the "perfect lives" portrayed in them.

He has had a "collecting obsession" since he was very young and learned of voyeurism from websites about it, the court heard.

Yeoh felt the "most enormous sense of relief" when his actions were discovered and felt "a great weight had been lifted off his shoulders", Ms O'Neill said. This prompted a gasp from the public gallery.

Ms O'Neill added: "The depth of shame he feels about his conduct over those three years really can not be expressed."

Yeoh remains suspended from his job but has asked to be struck off the medical register.

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