Page last updated at 15:15 GMT, Thursday, 3 July 2008 16:15 UK

Sex camera hotel manager jailed

Clarence Birbeck
The camera was linked to Birkbeck's bedroom

A hotel manager who set up a hidden camera in a bedroom to watch a couple having sex has been jailed.

Clarance Birkbeck, who ran the Kastle Court guesthouse in Redcar, Teesside, was arrested after the couple spotted the spy camera between two wardrobes.

Police called to the scene discovered the camera was linked to the 67-year-old's own bedroom.

Birkbeck, who denied a charge of voyeurism at a trial, was sentenced to six months imprisonment on Thursday.

During the earlier hearing in May, the manager admitted placing the camera in one of the bedrooms but claimed it was only to see if the couple were taking drugs.

'Sexual gratification'

The couple, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had stayed in the same room the week before their visit on 30 November.

The woman told the court that finding the camera the morning after being "intimate" with her partner had "destroyed" her.

The surveillance device, which officers found was switched on and had black tape covering the LED light, was screwed to the wall in a gap between two wardrobes.

Police found the live link was being taped, but no evidence that anything sexual between the couple had been recorded.

Passing sentence, Maureen Rider, chairman of the bench at Langbaurgh East Magistrates' Court in Guisborough, said the manager had installed the camera for his own "sexual gratification."

Birkbeck was also placed on the sex offenders' register for seven years.

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