A pervert hid a spy camera in a bottle of Lynx to spy on a 13-year-old girl in the shower – after filming his wife as a ‘practice run’.
Father-of-three Michael Magic, 38, concealed a mobile phone in the shower gel container and cut a small rectangular hole in the front for the camera lens.
He then positioned the ‘Africa’ fragrance bottle in the bathroom cabinet and directed it towards the shower.
But his 13-year-old target spotted the device and raised the alarm. Video footage on the device clearly showed Magic positioning the covert device.
The warehouse worker pleaded guilty to voyeurism at Bristol Crown Court and was given a six-month suspended prison sentence.
James Haskell, prosecuting, said his victim cannot get the memory of discovering what he had done out of her head.
Describing how she found the device, he said: “She noticed that inside the bottle was a mobile phone.
“She looked at the mobile and she saw it had a video, which showed the defendant positioning the phone into the bottle, placing it in the bathroom cabinet and directing the camera to face towards the shower cubicle.
“The defendant had cut a rectangle in the bottle to enable the camera on the phone to view the shower cubicle.”
The girl immediately informed her mother after discovering the device at Magic’s house in St Anne’s Park, Bristol.
He immediately admitted it was him, repeatedly apologised and said he had done it before and he didn’t know what had got into his head, the court was told.
Magic told officers he had seen the child’s chest exposed and he felt attracted to her and wanted to see more.
He said he filmed his wife in the shower as a “practice run” and managed to film the youngster – using some footage for sexual gratification.
Alun Williams, defending, said his remorseful client – whose father-in-law is a magistrate – felt “deep, deep shame” and had contacted the Stop It Now confidential helpline to try to address his behaviour.
Sentencing, Judge Julian Lambert told Magic: “You are a married man, who developed an obsession with indecent images. That extended to recording images of a child.
“The effect of her discovering that has been severe. The harm is incalculable.”
Magic was handed a 60 day rehabilitation activity requirement, told to attend sex offender treatment and ordered to compensate his victim £1,000.
He was told to register as a sex offender for five years. He declined to comment as he left court.
Afterwards the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said: “Obviously the judge can’t lock him up for 20,000 years until he dies.
“I would have liked to have seen more. It’s just how it is.”
Her mother added: “I feel really, really let down by the justice system, not the judge personally. These sentencing guidelines are not in favour of the victim. They are in favour of saving public spending on prison.
“I was hoping for immediate custody so he could suffer a fraction of the hardship my daughter suffered.”
The girl, who viewed the sentencing hearing at Bristol Crown Court via video link, made an impact statement in which she said: “It’s always in my head. I can’t get rid of the memory, it won’t leave me alone.”
She said she now has to shower with her mum in the bathroom and felt ashamed about what happened.