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Man accused of secretly filming young Christchurch women in their homes keeps name suppression for now

Anna Leask,
Publish Date
Wed, 12 Jun 2024, 1:13pm

Man accused of secretly filming young Christchurch women in their homes keeps name suppression for now

Anna Leask,
Publish Date
Wed, 12 Jun 2024, 1:13pm

The man accused of secretly filming young women in Christchurch through the windows of their homes has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him and will stand trial before a jury.

But his name still cannot be published.

The 53-year-old appeared in Christchurch District Court for a third time today, where the not-guilty pleas were entered by his new lawyer.

He was granted name suppression at his first court appearance on May 13.

The suppression order was extended at his second appearance last week when he indicated he was seeking a new lawyer.

It was continued further today after the new lawyer told the court he had not had time to “trawl” through all of the information.

Judge Paul Kellar said he was not sure if any of the grounds for suppression had properly been made out - but he would extend one last time to allow the man’s lawyer a fair chance to make submissions on the matter.

He remanded the man in custody until June 25 - when suppression would be decided.

The man was arrested in April after police launched an investigation into complaints from women in the Upper Riccarton and Ilam area - where many Canterbury University students live.

The investigation began after police received complaints from several young women about incidents in 2023 and this year.

“A suspect came to the attention of investigators while officers spoke to him about an unrelated matter,” said Detective Senior Sergeant Tania Jellyman.

“During that interaction, a description of the man’s behaviour caught the attention of an investigator.

“It matched the behaviour described in a news article from the previous month where young women recounted seeing a man filming through their windows.

“Detectives established Operation Click and began making numerous enquiries that led to the suspect being charged.”

The man is currently facing 16 charges relating to the young women, including five of making intimate visual recordings and seven of burglary.

Jellyman earlier commended the women who had come forward.

“We would like to thank the young women who shared their story – they have been instrumental in helping us identify other victims,” said Jellyman.

“To date, the charges of making intimate visual recordings relate to five separate incidents, and we are endeavouring to identify further victims.

“While, in one case, neighbours alerted the occupants to a suspicious person lurking outside a window, most of the victims appear to have been unaware of the filming.

“Detectives are continuing to review items of interest and further charges are likely.”

“These events have been disturbing for the victims, who are in no way at fault for what occurred,” Jellyman acknowledged.

“They are alarmed at what has happened to them.

“The young women involved have shown incredible bravery, which has allowed police to lay these charges.

“Our home is where we should feel safe, and where every person has the right to privacy. Offending such as this undermines that.”

Jellyman said the advice for anyone who experienced similar offending was simple.

“If you’re at home and notice suspicious behaviour, please call 111 immediately, or 105 if it’s after the fact,” she urged.

“The sooner we are made aware, the sooner we can act.”

Anna Leask is a Christchurch-based reporter who covers national crime and justice. She joined the Herald in 2008 and has worked as a journalist for 18 years with a particular focus on family violence, child abuse, sexual violence, homicides, mental health and youth crime. She writes, hosts and produces the award-winning podcast A Moment In Crime, released monthly on nzherald.co.nz

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