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Northern Ireland Voice contestant Jeffery Anderson spared jail after secretly recording women

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Jeffrey Anderson outside court

Jeffrey Anderson outside court

Jeffrey Anderson outside court

A former contestant on TV talent show The Voice who admitted to secretly recording women for his own sexual gratification has been spared jail.

Jeffery Anderson (29) Co Down man was handed a three-year sentence, which was suspended for three years, after appearing at a remote hearing of Downpatrick Crown Court.

Also attending the hearing via videolink were several of Anderson's victims, some of whom were teenagers when they were secretly recorded by Anderson, as well as others who were recorded in private acts such as going to the toilet.

As he sentenced Anderson, Judge Geoffrey Miller QC spoke of the impact Anderson's offending has had on the women, who told a "similar story" of their experience with the former TV contestant.

The complainants described Anderson as portraying himself as outwardly confident and sexually experienced, but who was also controlling and coercive.

Judge Miller said that when Anderson's voyeurism emerged, the women in question felt embarrassed and disgusted at what he did.

This stress was exacerbated, he said, by Anderson's initial denials of offending, and not knowing whether or not he had shared his recordings of them with anyone else.

As well as pleading guilty to 11 counts of voyeurism spanning from 2005 to 2013, Anderson also admitted sexually assaulting a woman.

The court heard this charge, carried out between January 1, 2012 and March 11, 2012, was "against a backdrop where there was no consciousness or ability to participate".

In addition, he admitted assaulting another woman occasioning her actual bodily harm on a date between October 21 and 31, 2015.

Anderson found fame on TV talent show The Voice, and gained the nicknamed 'Baby Jesus' while touring in the UK production of Jesus Christ Superstar.

He continued his musical career working with bands and on cruise ships, and is currently employed writing jingles for his father's advertising company.

During today's sentencing, it emerged Anderson suffered a medical condition linked to erectile dysfunction in his younger years, and he claimed that making and viewing these secret recordings helped him achieve arousal.

As well as being handed a suspended sentence, Anderson was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years and was made the subject of a ten-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order.

Following sentencing, Detective Chief Inspector Ian Wilson said: “Jeffrey Anderson secretly filmed his victims over a nine-year period. He carried out these heinous acts purely for his own sexual gratification.

“No-one has the right to film another person in an intimate setting without their express consent. It is just not acceptable.

“The women in this case displayed immense courage in seeing this trial through to a successful conclusion. I hope that their tenacity and resolution to bring this man to justice will encourage anyone else who has experienced any form of sexual abuse to come forward to police.

“Officers in the Police Service of Northern Ireland remain committed to investigating all reports of sexual offences. We will seek to place offenders before the courts so they can be made amenable for their crimes.

“I would like to take this opportunity to assure any victims of sexual abuse that they will be treated with sensitivity and respect, and I would continue to encourage anyone who has experienced any form of sexual abuse to contact police on 101, or ‘999’ in an emergency."

Belfast Telegraph