An Andover man who used a camera pen to covertly film children has been jailed for four years and ten months.
John Fielding, 46, of Old Winton Road, Andover, appeared at Bristol Crown Court on Friday, July 22 for a sentence hearing.
He had pleaded guilty to the following offences at a previous hearing:
• Four counts of outraging public decency
• Six counts of making indecent photographs/pseudo-photographs of a child
• Two counts of possessing a prohibited image of a child
• Two counts of possessing extreme pornography
• Three counts of breaching a Sexual Offences Prevention Order
The court heard that Fielding’s offending came to light in May 27 this year, when he was confronted by a customer at the Lidl store in Western Avenue, Andover.
The customer had become suspicious of Fielding’s behaviour in the store and, with the help of other customers, detained him until police arrived.
A camera pen was found in Fielding’s bag.
The court heard that during the subsequent investigation, officers from Hampshire Constabulary’s Northern Investigations team discovered videos Fielding had covertly filmed children and young people in public places across the South and South West of England using a camera pen or Go Pro camera.
Officers also found thousands of indecent images of children that Fielding had downloaded to his computer from the internet since January 29 this year.
As well as being sentenced to four years and ten months imprisonment, Fielding received a sexual harm prevention order, until further order.
He was also placed on the sexual offenders register, again until further order.
Speaking after the hearing, officer in the case, PC Stephen Court, said: “John Fielding is a devious man who used covert methods to film children in public places.
“This offending came to light thanks to the actions and bravery of a vigilant member of public who had spotted Fielding acting suspiciously in the Andover Lidl store on May 27.
“I would like to place on record my thanks to this customer, and to the other members of the public, who showed bravery and restraint in detaining Fielding in the store until officers arrived.
“This investigation and subsequent sentence serves as a reminder that we take the kind of behaviour shown by Fielding very seriously, and strive to bring such offenders to justice.”