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Criminal law: B&B owner jailed for using peepholes to spy on guests

Guests at a Scarborough bed and breakfast were left feeling "sick and horrified" after discovering that their host, owner Paul Williams, had been spying on them for sexual gratification.

His activities were discovered when one of his guests, a 16-year-old girl, noticed a poster, that had been place over one of the holes Williams had drilled in the doors, started moving.

The girl's boyfriend investigated and found the hole behind the poster, in a position that looked onto the bed. Outside in the corridor, the boy found Williams wearing only a dressing gown.

Williams' victims, three couples who were all friends, all found spy-holes in their rooms. But since they had been drinking and could not drive that night, they stayed until morning when they demanded a refund and called the police.

When the police searched the guesthouse, they found audio recording equipment.

Williams claimed that he had initially drilled the spy-holes in order to catch non-paying guests.

He pleaded guilty to charges of voyeurism. He was sentenced yesterday (8 August) to 18 weeks' imprisonment.

Magistrate Mrs Kate Warnock-Smith stated that the severity of Williams' offences, breaching the trust he had as a hotelier and spying on young victims, meant that only a custodial sentence was justified.

Related links:
Read more on the story (The Telegraph)
Find out about help and support for victims of crime (FindLaw)
Find local criminal solicitors throughout the UK (FindLaw)