A pervert who used his mobile phone to take photos under the skirts of unsuspecting shoppers and commuters has been jailed.
Thomas Trotter (54) was jailed for 18 months at Edinburgh Sheriff Court today and will be on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years.
Trotter of Forrest View, Polmont, had pled guilty previously to filming the genitals, buttocks and underwear of women at Edinburgh’s Waverley Station and in the Buchanan Galleries shopping centre in Glasgow between June 11 and September 29 last year.
The court heard he had lost his job as a senior information officer at The Scottish Government as a result of the charge.
Sheriff Peter Braid told Trotter: “You have pled guilty to taking images of women in a clandestine manner, prompted by voyeuristic impulses for your own sexual gratification. This involved significant planning committed over a period of more than three months in public places where women should be able to walk without fear”.
At the previous hearing, Fiscal Depute, Aidan Higgins, told Sheriff Braid that Trotter travelled into Edinburgh daily by train to attend his place of work.
On Monday, September 29, he said: “As he made his way out of Waverley Station he came to the attention of a fellow commuter because he seemed to be acting in a curious manner, a sinister manner.
“As he entered the escalator, he was clearly making an effort to get very close to a female ahead of him. He was seen to be holding his mobile phone in such a way that it was clear he was using his phone to get under the lady’s skirt, taking photographs of areas under the skirt, buttocks and other parts”.
The Fiscal said the commuter, who had witnessed this, reported his concerns to the British Transport Police. CCTV footage was viewed and Trotter identified.
Mr Higgins added: “It was correctly assumed he was a commuter and that he would be back in the station the following day. In anticipation of that, a number of police officers were placed on surveillance. On September 30, the accused was identified as he left the train and was detained as he left the station”.
At St Leonard’s police station, early examination of his iPhone showed it was being used in a voyeuristic manner.
When Trotter’s home computer was examined, police found 22 videos taken under unassuming females skirts.
Trotter’s defence solicitor, Neil Hay, told the court: “He is most ashamed of his actions. He is well aware his behaviour is unacceptable to the community. This is not a victimless crime. He is sorry for what he has done.
“He has lost his career, brought his family to the brink of financial ruin and brought shame and humiliation to himself and, regretfully, to those very close to him”.
Sentencing Trotter, Sheriff Braid told him he took into account everything that had been said on his behalf, but added: “However, the repugnance society must feel towards these offences is such that, in my view, there is no alternative to a custodial sentence, in retribution and to deter others”.