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Porn addict sentenced over secret upskirt photos

Porn addict sentenced over secret upskirt photos

Friday 02 July 2021

Porn addict sentenced over secret upskirt photos


A 33-year-old man who was described in court as being addicted to pornography has been given community service and a two-year probation order for taking photos of women’s bottoms in town using a camera hidden in a backpack.

Andrew Renouf appeared in the Magistrate's Court today before Magistrate Bridget Shaw, having pleaded guilty to taking the pictures and acting in a manner likely to cause a breach of the peace.

Renouf had been in New Look on 24 October when he had raised the suspicions of a member of the public who thought they had seen him filming the buttocks of women in the shop. The customer notified staff in the shop, who then called the police. 

By the time the police had arrived, however, Renouf had left the building, though this was not because he thought he had been noticed. 

Two days later, the customer spotted him in King Street again, but did not observe anything suspicious at that time. 

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Pictured: Renouf raised the suspicions of a member of the public in New Look.

However, she phoned police to notify them that she had seen him in town. Upon locating him, Police found Renouf following two females closely. 

After stopping him, they found that he was carrying a bag with a carved-out notebook placed in the see-through netting section of the bag. Inside the modified notebook was a mobile phone with a camera.

Later, they also found images on one of his devices from September, taken under the clothing of two separate females on two separate occasions - in Marks and Spencer and Boots respectively.

He subsequently appeared in the Magistrates Court on 15 April, where he pleaded guilty to two charges of recording images under the clothing of an unknown female for sexual gratification, and two charges of acting in a manner likely to cause a breach of the peace.

Renouf’s legal representative, Advocate Julian Gollop, said his client was of previous “good” and “positive” character, and had two character references that “speak highly” of him.

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Pictured: Advocate Julian Gollop was defending Renouf.

He said that Renouf was addicted to pornography, with the condition developing throughout his adolescence and adult life, though he had previously been able to maintain a number of “stable and normal relationships without any difficulty.”

He explained that the end of some these relationships, combined with pressures relating the pandemic, had triggered his depression and anxiety, leaving him to resort to sex and pornography to ease those feelings.

Advocate Gollop emphasised that, outside of the images taken, the pornography he had been watching had been “legitimate, normal pornography that thousands of people view online in some other form”, which was “nothing to be embarrassed about".

He added that after Renouf's arrest, which had apparently come as a "great relief" to him, he immediately sought help from his GP even before charges were brought.

He then followed that up with various treatments, including weekly sex addict meetings, which he continues to do. Work to address the issues was said to be still ongoing, with a “clear programme” now in place to deal with it.

Advocate Gollop argued that a custodial sentence mixed with a probation order would not be as helpful to Renouf, as it would introduce a “high level” of uncertainty as to whether he would complete this “onerous” programme.

He said that Renouf had been assessed as being at low risk of re-conviction, adding that the best option for Renouf would be to undergo the full treatment that he would be required to do through a probation order.

He added that the completion of this course would mean society could be confident he would not reoffend.

Before sentencing, Magistrate Bridget Shaw addressed Renouf directly, telling him she had decided his breaches of the peace were sexually-aggravated, his offences “serious and shocking”, and that his culpability was “high".

“Every woman should be able to walk the streets of St. Helier confident in her personal privacy and her safety, and you denied that to a number of women,” she said.

She added that, as far as the amount of harm was concerned, “it’s fortunate that none of these women were aware of what was happening to them, otherwise, as you accept yourself, they would feel mortified, humiliated and embarrassed.”

However, she acknowledged his “previous good character”, the efforts he had made to address the issue, and the “remorse” he had shown, and said she was “satisfied” she could deal with the matter through community service and probation.

“The probation order is the best way the court can ensure that you do not reoffend and so enhance the safety and confidence of women that you will not be behaving in the same way again,” she concluded.

Renouf was sentenced to 120 hours' community service and two years of probation for each of the four charges, which he will serve concurrently. 

Renouf was also added to the Sex Offender’s Register for five years and will be subject to the relevant notification requirements.

He is also prohibited from using any device where he could take a picture or recording without written permission from police, and told that he must not delete anything on any allowed devices, and make them immediately available for inspection if required.

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