World News

Landlord sentenced for filming tenants with hidden camera

A landlord who filmed two female tenants with a hidden camera has narrowly avoided a prison term.

When police searched Stephen Alexander Clutterbuck’s home last year, they found multiple recordings of two former tenants, in which the unknowing women were naked or semi-naked.

One of the women had two small children, who were also filmed naked.

The first woman, who rented a furnished room from Clutterbuck for six months in 2018, quit her tenancy without knowing she had been filmed.

The second, however, started looking for secret cameras a month into her early-2019 tenancy, after she received personal text messages from an unknown number which suggested she was being watched.

She found a camera inside a speaker and immediately called police.

The camera was connected to a large television in Clutterbuck’s bedroom, and could transmit a live feed from the tenant’s bedroom to that of their landlord.

Police also found a small rectangular peephole in the bedroom, which Clutterbuck said he knew nothing about, even though footage filmed through the peephole was in his possession.

Police seized two USBs with film of the victims on them, footage which ranged from two seconds to 16 minutes.

Clutterbuck also had an objectionable 42-second-long bestiality video in his possession, which he said had been shared to his Facebook page.

When questioned by police, Clutterbuck said he had put the camera in the speaker but only for use as a sensor.

He blamed a female associate for setting up the live feed without his knowledge and using his phone without his permission.

In Dunedin District Court yesterday, Judge Dominic Flatley took a dim view of Clutterbuck’s initial story and when imposing sentence on charges of making an intimate visual recording (x2) and possessing objectionable material with knowledge did not grant full discount for Clutterbuck’s eventual guilty plea.

Judge Flatley said the courts strongly disapproved of offending such as Clutterbuck’s and that he had seriously considered a term of imprisonment.

However, Clutterbuck’s lack of similar convictions and the availability of a counselling programme meant an eight-month sentence of home detention was appropriate, the judge said.

Judge Flatley also imposed a range of conditions on Clutterbuck, including that he not associate with anyone aged under 16.

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