A sex-pest council worker who spied on female colleagues by installing a hidden camera to peer up their skirts has been jailed for 16 months.
Christopher Hardie, 51, set up recording equipment under his desk at the council depot where he worked so that he could get his perverted kicks by secretly filming his workmates.
Debauched Hardie placed the camera at Stoke-on-Trent Council’s environmental services department but he was rumbled when one shocked co-worker found the device.
After his arrest earlier this year it was later discovered “obsessed” Hardie had been filming female colleagues for his own sexual gratification for at least five months.
On Thursday, he was jailed for 16-months after admitting eight counts of voyeurism – which also included installing cameras at a house between 2008 and 2012.
He must also sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years.
Jailing Hardie, Judge Granville Styler said: “I understand the devastating effect this has had on you. You have lost your job and family.
“But these are serious matters which give the public and victims great discomfort.
“It was a series of offences which took considerable planning. I take the view this is an escalation of your offending.
“You have an obsession that gives you sexual gratification.”
Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard Hardie’s actions had impacted on council staff leaving them feeling humiliated.
In a statement, one victim said: “This will be be with me for life. Words can’t explain the embarrassment and the mental anguish. I now only feel safe in my own home.”
The court heard Hardie threw the camera in a canal after being uncovered by colleagues while other equipment was found in skips at the site.
Memory cards, USB sticks and three camcorders were also found at his home.
The court heard Hardie, from Stafford, had been kicked out of his family home since the allegations came to light.
Hamish Noble, defending, said: “In this case the images were for personal use and not shown or distributed for financial gain.”
Stoke-on-Trent City Council declined to comment on the case.
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