A disgraced vicar has admitted spying on and filming a mother and daughter and two teenaged girls in his parish.
Reverend Richard Lee, 49, pleaded guilty to eight charges of voyeurism and 18 of making indecent images during a short court hearing.
North Somerset Magistrates Court heard how Lee, vicar of two churches in Somerset, installed secret cameras to spy on his unsuspecting victims.
But the married father-of-two was rumbled when the images were discovered on his laptop – and the police were altered.
Officers arrived at the Church of England vicar’s home near Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, and arrested Lee before conducting a search of the house.
A number of computers were seized containing 400 category one images, 84 category one videos – the lowest level of the scale used to measure their severity.
But Lee also had 51 category two images, three category three images and four images and one video in category four – the second highest level.
The images featured a woman and three girls aged under 16.
Yesterday (Mon) Lee – who has been suspended by the Church of England – appeared at a short hearing at North Somerset Magistrates Court to admit the 26 charges.
He spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and enter guilty pleas.
Andrea Edwards, prosecuting, told the court Lee had admitted in interview that he knew his disgusting behaviour was wrong.
She said: “There is a great abuse of trust in this case.
“During the course of the interview he admitted that the images and film were for his own sexual gratification.
“He said he had viewed them for himself and he had not shared any of the images or video.
“He knew that they were wrong but used them for his sexual gratification.”
Lee carried out the offences while working at two Somerset village churches near Weston-super-Mare – St Augustine’s in Locking and St Mary’s in Hutton.
He moved to the area in 2006 from Gillingham, Kent, and is now living with his mother in Bodmin, Cornwall.
Magistrates said the case was too serious for their sentencing powers and committed Lee to Bristol Crown Court.
Chair of the bench, Joy Yeates, said: “We are committing you to Bristol Crown Court for sentence for all of the charges mentioned.
“We have done this because you need a greater punishment then we are able to give.”
Lee, who was granted conditional bail, remained emotionless throughout the hearing.
A spokesman for the Diocese of Bath and Wells said: “We can confirm that the Rev Richard Lee was arrested in July 2012.”
“In accordance with the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003, the Bishop of Bath and Wells suspended Mr Lee from active ministry as soon as he was arrested.
“The Diocese of Bath and Wells has and will continue to fully co-operate with police enquiries.”
Lee will be sentenced at Bristol Crown Court on March 3.
This guy was my vicar for years (up into his arrest) he was always going on about sexual ethics and judging others. He spent most of last year campaigning for the Coalition For Marriage and calling gay people ‘perverts’ and un-natural deviants.
I’m glad he was finally caught out.