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No jail for filming in changerooms

AN autistic "naturist" who filmed boys getting changed at Ryde Aquatic Centre has avoided imprisonment.
Magistrate Ian Barnett said the discreet filming of the boys in October last year warranted a jail term, but such a sentence could cause Richard John Annetts to have another stroke.
Annetts, 48, was found guilty of possessing child pornography and filming for indecent purposes following a hearing in Downing Centre Local Court in May.
He was due to be sentenced last month, but suffered a stroke caused by hypertension, defence barrister Allan Goldsworthy said. Annetts even hired a personal nurse who accompanied him to court last week to monitor his blood pressure.
He was caught filming in the male changerooms by patrons who alerted staff and rang the police.
Annetts was escorted from the centre before he fought with police officers and tried to smash his digital camera.
The camera had 20 video files on it. Some of the videos were not clear while others depicted naked boys and focussed on their genitalia, Mr Barnett said.
Annetts, of Acacia Ave, Ryde, has autism and has never had a sexual relationship, Mr Goldsworthy said.
He had an interest in "naturism" but did not seek sexual gratification from the videos, Mr Goldsworthy added.
Mr Barnett handed Annetts a 12-month suspended jail term with supervision from the probation and parole service.

http://www.northerndistricttimes.com.au (6-8-2008)

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Pool pervert loved nudism

A MAN who secretly filmed children in the changing rooms of a public swimming pool claimed he had "a spiritual preoccupation" with nudism.
In contrast, a magistrate convicted him of possessing child pornography, calling his behaviour predatory.
Richard John Annetts is now facing a maximum two-year jail term for what Magistrate Ian Barnett described as a very serious offence aimed "at innocent children".
"These are innocent people going about innocent activities," Mr Barnett told Downing Centre Local Court.
"It is in an area where people should feel safe to change without this type of activity going on."
Annetts, 48, was arrested last October after visitors to the Ryde Aquatic Centre reported him acting suspiciously.
A scuffle broke out after he was confronted by police, who found a camera hidden in his backpack.
It contained 20 video clips filmed over almost three hours, showing boys apparently aged under 16 - some as young as three. Some footage focused on the boys' genital areas.
Annetts, who has a "mildly disabling" autistic disorder, had pleaded not guilty to possessing child porn. According to a psychiatric report tendered by the defence, his main interest was naturism - or nudism - and not sexual gratification.
Annetts had never had a sexual relationship and insisted his interest in naturism was "a spiritual preoccupation", the report said.
Defence barrister Allan Goldsworthy told the court the footage "could almost be a documentary" and, rather than pinpointing genitalia, it was "all over the place".
Police prosecutor Sergeant Daniel McMahon argued that Annetts was aware of "the socially unacceptable nature of these actions".
He tried to camouflage the camera with tape and, when apprehended, tried to destroy it by hitting it on the ground, he said.
Sgt McMahon said Annetts had a charge of possessing child pornography dismissed on mental health grounds in 2003.
Mr Barnett refused to dismiss this case under these provisions, describing Annetts' actions as predatory and covert.
He said it was "disturbing" that some of the boys were so young. "None of these people gave consent or even knew this was going on," he said.
Annetts will be sentenced on a future date.

The Daily Telegraph (16-5-2008)
Kim Arlington

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