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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 August, 2003, 14:24 GMT 15:24 UK
'Toilet video' GP on sex register
A trusted family doctor has been placed on the sex offenders register after admitting taking secret videos of a woman and children who used his bathroom.

A court heard how Dr Peter Finklestone rigged up the secret camera in his bathroom at his home in Gosforth, Newcastle.

Finklestone, 39, transferred his hidden camera footage onto a master tape, which he kept for his own amusement.

Magistrates in Newcastle heard how Finklestone initially recorded children by mistake, aiming to capture more pictures of a woman friend with whom he had become obsessed.

But instead of disposing of the pictures of the youngsters, Finklestone kept their images at his home in Gosforth, Newcastle.

Compilation tape

At an earlier hearing he pleaded guilty to nine counts of making indecent images of the woman and children between November 1998 and October 2002.

On Tuesday he was given an 18 month community rehabilitation order and placed on the sex offenders register for five years.

The court was told the life of the trusted family doctor, who enjoyed a good relationship with his hundreds of patients, is now in ruins.

The unmarried doctor, who has no children, resigned from his job, has no income and is about to lose his home.

Prosecutor Jason Boyd told the court: "The apparatus was set up in his bathroom to take pictures. He changed address while this was going on and the apparatus was set up once again.

"There was a master or compilation tape onto which images were added after being made in the toilet.

"There was an element of sophistication in this, but there was no dissimilation or distribution of these images."

Frazer McDermott, mitigating, said: "Mr Finklestone accepts he placed a pinhole camera in the toilet of his home and accepts the purpose was to take pictures of a lady with whom he was having a non-sexual relationship.

'Sexual activity'

"The girls were filmed innocently at the outset because the camera had been set up to film this woman.

"But Mr Finklestone kept them and he knows he should not have done that.

"Nothing on the tapes recovered by the police showed the children involved in any form of sexual activity whatsoever.

"There are very real concerns when children are involved and these children were maybe using the toilet."

Chairman of the bench Dr Rievely Gair passed the 18 month community rehabilitation order and told Finklestone he would remain on the Sex Offenders Register for five years.

A telephone helpline was set up after the case came to light.




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