Changeroom 'up-skirter' targeted mother-of-five
A MAN who "up-skirted" a woman in a Sunshine Coast changeroom only turned himself into police after his mother recognised him in CCTV footage.
Kyle Jamie Stawski, 27, targeted a mother-of-five aged nearly 50, when she entered the cubicle at Rebel sportswear store in the Maroochydore Homemaker Centre on January 7.
Stawski pleaded guilty in the Maroochydore Magistrates Court this morning to taking recordings in breach of privacy, which the court heard included two photos Stawski deleted as he ran from the store.
The court heard the victim was a tourist to the region when Stawski entered the changeroom immediately next to her, slipped his phone under the 20cm-gap in the partition and took the images when she was naked, or partially naked.
The woman looked down, saw the hand holding a mobile phone with the screen facing upwards, and immediately realised she was being recorded without her consent.
She called out, "What are you doing?", and heard the man reply, "I'm sorry" before he made a hurried exit.
A witness chased the man as he ran from the store, but it was not until more than one month later on February 15 Stawski handed himself into Nambour police.
The court heard he did so after his mother recognised him in the Queensland Policed Service media campaign to identify the offender, which included CCTV footage.
The court heard since the incident, the victim could not enter a changeroom without a friend waiting outside to ensure there was not someone "sneaking up to film her".
She said she had also become more "vigilant" about her 16-year-old daughter and the invasion of privacy had made her "worried about her own family".
Though it was not suggested the images had been uploaded to the internet or another device before they were deleted, the woman felt "angst" that they would "pop up on Facebook" or elsewhere online.
Magistrate Matthew McLaughlin said that he was concerned Stawski might suffer an "underlying problem", as it was "strange" behaviour, especially for someone who had no previous trouble with the law.
"Particularly with someone who's probably old enough to be your mother, it's just a bit strange," he said, which referred to the victim's age.
Defence lawyer Steven Brough said his client felt a huge amount of "shame and remorse" for his crime, which happened during a "low point" in his life.
He told the court Stawski lived at home with his mother, and could not afford to move out partially due to his casual employment.
He said Stawski, a tree lopper, also suffered a great deal of guilt over a workplace injury after a branch he and another had been holding slipped and seriously injured his colleague.
Magistrate McLaughlin sentenced Stawski to nine months' probation, with an extra condition he must submit to any medical or psychiatirc assessment or treatment ordered.
A conviction was not recorded, but Stawski was warned if he re-offended on probation he would be re-sentenced and a conviction would be recorded.