A FAST food store employee placed a hidden camera in the women’s toilet to “catch people doing drugs”.
Ipswich District Court heard Phillip Alan Rex Taylor, who had recently got a job at Redbank Plains KFC as a cleaner, hid his mobile phone in an air vent in the ladies’ bathroom – pointing down at the toilets.
But the video camera in his mobile phone had only been recording for a short time on June 27 last year when two female customers reported it to a manager.
Crown Prosecutor Kellie Jones said the manager told Taylor – who was in the bathroom cleaning at the time – to leave the room and retrieved the phone.
The manager looked up her list of employee mobile numbers and called Taylor’s which caused the offending phone to ring.
Mrs Jones said the 22-year-old admitted when questioned by police that he had put the phone in the vent.
But he claimed he did it because he suspected people were using drugs in the toilets.
“He said he was attempting to obtain evidence that proved that drug use,” she said.
Mrs Jones said that even if Taylor’s excuse was accepted, it was still an invasion of privacy to secretly record women in the bathroom.
“He never advised his manager or the police about his suspicions,” she said.
Mrs Jones said luckily no-one had been filmed by the hidden camera, which was only in place for a short period of time.
Taylor pleaded guilty to attempting to make a recording in breach of privacy.
He was given six months probation with no conviction recorded.
Defence barrister Steve Kissick said Taylor had lost his job at KFC as a result of the offence and he was very remorseful for his actions.
Judge Sarah Bradley told Taylor his behaviour was stupid, whatever his reason for hiding the camera.
“Clearly people who go into a toilet in a fast food outlet deserve and expect full privacy,” Judge Bradley said.
“They shouldn’t be recorded surreptitiously by anyone as you were trying to do.”
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