Man pleads guilty to filming child


A MAYFIELD man who filmed a naked child changing in a cubicle first told police he'd been invited to film a flirtatious woman.

An unrepresented Simon Patrick Harvey, 36, pleaded guilty yesterday to recording in breach of privacy a 10-year-old boy at Launceston Aquatic on March 30.

Harvey was a cleaner there at the time, but has since been dismissed.

The court heard the child was in a cubicle taking off his bathers when he bent over and saw a mobile phone being held under the cubicle.

The boy left and told his mother what had happened.

The centre's CCTV showed Harvey quickly leaving the area.

Yesterday in the Launceston Magistrates Court police prosecutor Konrad Plachta said Harvey initially lied about what happened.

Harvey told officers he'd been flirting with a woman at the pool when she said he could film her changing in the cubicle.

The woman said she'd be in the second last cubicle at a certain time, he said.

Harvey then broke down and admitted he'd just wanted to film a woman he'd seen in the centre.

After realising he was recording a child Harvey says he stopped filming and deleted the footage.

Mr Plachta did not oppose magistrate Simon Brown sentencing Harvey on the basis he intended to film a woman not a child.

The incident was not made public by police or the centre at the time.

Yesterday the Launceston City Council, which operates the centre, said Harvey had been hired by a cleaning contractor at the centre for less than six weeks.

"Launceston Aquatic has strict criteria for all employees and contractors on site" council general manager Robert Dobrzynski said.

"In this case contractors are required to pass a range of pre-employment checks, including a National Police Check before, being allowed to work on the site.

"Patrons can have full confidence that inappropriate behaviour will be reported to the authorities, and evidence, including CCTV footage, will be supplied to Tasmania Police wherever possible."

He said the council had "zero tolerance" when it came to privacy breaches and always ensured they were "prosecuted to the fullest extent".

The centre has a range of security and safety measures, including a CCTV network.

Mr Brown ordered a pre- sentence report regarding Harvey.

"It's a somewhat unusual charge in my experience," he said .

Harvey is due to be sentenced on June 27.

The offence carries a maximum $6500 fine and one year in jail.

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