Page last updated at 14:18 GMT, Friday, 8 August 2008 15:18 UK

'Peeping Tom' rapist imprisoned

Anthony Batchelor
Batchelor had already admitted the charges in court

A rapist who admitted spying on his neighbours by using a camera hidden in their bedroom has been sent to prison for an indefinite period.

Anthony Batchelor, 33, pleaded guilty at Gloucester Crown Court to a total of 14 sexual offences.

These included rape, voyeurism, false imprisonment and the possession of indecent images of children.

Suspicions were raised when police found a hole in the ceiling of his Gloucester neighbour's house.

In court Batchelor admitted he also set up cameras in Butlin's holiday park in Minehead, Somerset.

He had also filmed his neighbour's partner sunbathing naked and was caught when the spyhole in the ceiling was spotted, the court heard.

When I saw the evidence I thought 'I can't believe it'. It really just took me ages to believe it.
Debbie Peters

Police who searched Batchelor's computer at his home also found footage he had taken just before raping a young woman at knifepoint and threatening her with hot hair tongs.

Officers who found he had filmed women and children changing at swimming pools, also found clips of him setting up a spy camera by his lavatory to film four women.

Det Sgt Rob Harding, of Gloucestershire Police, told the court Batchelor's activities were uncovered when he was called to investigate a burglary report, in July 2007.

"It very quickly moved away from a burglary into a definite sexual case which led us to seize exhibits that gave us further offences which were filmed on video," said Det Sgt Harding.

"A rape allegation was made which was also connected to the video, incidents of children and adults being filmed on a toilet, using the toilet."

'Sexual depravity'

Batchelor's girlfriend Debbie Peters, who had no idea he had planted the hidden cameras, said: "When I saw the evidence I thought 'I can't believe it'. It really just took me ages to believe it."

Judge William Hart told Batchelor the unlimited sentence reflected the "sexual depravity" he had put his victims through.

The father-of-one admitted 14 offences, including rape, voyeurism, and possessing child pornography.

He can be considered for release after three years and nine months, but will be freed only if a parole panel deems he is no longer a threat.

video and audio news
Anthony Batchelor admitted spying on his neighbours using a hidden camera in their bedroom

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2020 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific