‘Pervert’ used iPhone to capture footage of women using the toilet

JAILED: Mark Vernalls
JAILED: Mark Vernalls
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A “peeping Tom” who hid a camera phone in the pocket of a dressing gown to capture footage of women using the toilet, has been jailed for nine months.

Jurors unanimously found Chorley man Mark Andrew Vernalls, currently of Mayfield Road, Sutton, guilty of a charge of operating an iPhone for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification by observing someone doing a private act.

Judge Pamela Badley, sitting at Preston Crown Court, said there was no need for a pre sentence report after the verdict was given, and proceeded to sentence him straight away.

The 55-year-old had denied the offence but during his trial, Preston Crown Court was shown footage from his phone of a man positioning the camera in the garment, and later a woman finding it.

The offence took place in a house in the town where three women lived.

The victim, a mum from Chorley, found the device when she went into the bathroom in the middle of the night.

She later confronted him and called him a “Peeping Tom” and a “pervert.”

Prosecuting, Peter Barr said: “He set the camera running to record and his only purpose in doing that was to record others who would be using that downstairs toilet.”

The court was also told the victim had hidden the phone until it could be handed to police officers, and Vernalls had repeatedly asked for it back.

The judge ordered Vernalls to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years and also ordered him to pay a £100 victim surcharge.