Page last updated at 16:09 GMT, Wednesday, 14 October 2009 17:09 UK

Holiday home guests 'spied upon'

David Sturgess
David Sturgess denies all the charges at Swansea Crown Court

A woman has told a jury how her former partner set up a secret camera system to spy on holidaymakers staying at their rental cottage.

Teresa Crick said David Sturgess, 53, hid four cameras in fake smoke alarms to film guests undressing, showering and having sex.

At Swansea Crown Court he denies 12 charges of voyeurism and three of taking indecent images of children.

The jury heard some of those filmed at Llandysul, Ceredigion, were under 18.

Ms Crick 51, told the court that Mr Sturgess, originally from Abingdon, Oxfordshire, would watch a TV monitor showing their naked guests.

She reported him to the police after they split up.

She said: "David got sexually turned on by this - he wanted me to do things to him while he watched."

Mr Sturgess converted the farm outbuilding into a three-star holiday cottage and bought a network of hidden cameras and video recorders, the court was told.

The cottage at Llandysul
It was a very sophisticated system to record innocent and unsuspecting victims
Christopher James, prosecuting

The alleged victims were 10 females and two males - with three under the age of 18.

Ms Crick said: "He installed the equipment the moment I took a booking.

"He found out a bit about the people who were coming to stay and installed the equipment very quickly."

The jury heard that the covert cameras were able to zoom in on people as they showered, used the toilet, undressed and had sex.

Ms Crick told the jury that she and Mr Sturgess joined the swinging scene of wife-swapping after getting together seven years ago.

She said: "David said he always likes the idea of us swapping.

"When the relationship started he wanted to explore that and I should have said no.

"At the beginning we explored it. I didn't want to take it any further, but David continued searching."

Ms Crick told the jury that Mr Sturgess filmed one couple who were aware of the cameras while they stayed at the cottage next door.

Asked if she ever viewed the tapes herself, Ms Crick replied: "No, never. I never touched the equipment.

"David would watch on his own and sometimes when I was with him."

Previously, prosecutor Christopher James told the jury Mr Sturgess videoed people for the purpose of his own sexual gratification.

"He recorded innocent people using covert cameras concealed in what were purported to be alarms," he said.

"It was a very sophisticated system to record innocent and unsuspecting victims.

"Sturgess recorded predominantly women but some men and children in varying states of undress in the bathrooms and bedrooms of the property."

The trial continues.

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