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Paris voyeur gets jail term for toilet films

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Paris voyeur gets jail term for toilet films
A 36-year-old Frenchman was given a suspended six-month jail term on June 5th for filming women in toilets across Paris, something he said was "more exciting than porn." File photo: Keoni Cabral
16:54 CEST+02:00
A 36-year-old Frenchman has been sentenced to a six-month suspended jail sentence, it emerged on Thursday, after being found guilty of filming women visiting the toilets in Paris bars, something he said was "more exciting than porn".

The man was apprehended when he tried to install a miniature camera on April 18th at a bar in the tenth arrondissement of Paris.

When questioned by the police, he admitted to placing other hidden cameras across bars in the first, second and tenth arrondissements of the French capital.

He had targeted five bars in total, with French radio Europe1 reporting that he admitted to the police that the had "voyeuristic tendencies". 

When police searched his home they found various mini cameras in the form of pens, as well more than 80 recordings on his computer's hard drive. The device that first grabbed the attention of the bar owner who alerted law enforcers, was a camera hidden in a cigarette packet.

The man was charged with attempting to disrupt the integrity of another's private life by capturing images.

During court proceedings, the suspect had attempted to blame his voyeurism on his mental state, saying his emotions were at a low point when the behaviour began. 

"Two years ago, I wasn't well. I isolated myself and no longer saw anyone," the man told court.

"I watched (the videos) during periods of my life when I wasn't feeling well," the 36-year-old said, adding only after the persistent questioning of the court that he used the material for masturbation. 

He said he had not disseminated the videos online, keeping them on his home computer - "only for my own pleasure", he told the judges. 

This is not the first time a 'video voyeur' has landed in hot water with the law after being caught filming women in toilets.

In March, The Local reported how a French grandfather was handed a one-year suspended sentence for filming more than 1,500 women in the toilets of supermarkets in Brittany.

He also allegedly burned one woman with acid, "hoping she'd have to go and get changed."

He was sentenced for invasion of privacy, as well as ordered to undergo treatment and pay €350 in compensation to the woman who first made the complaint against him.

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