Page last updated at 11:38 GMT, Thursday, 15 October 2009 12:38 UK

Man guilty in cottage voyeur case

David Sturgess
David Sturgess was found guilty of all charges by the jury

A man has been found guilty of setting up secret cameras to spy on holidaymakers renting his cottage.

David Sturgess, 54, had denied 12 charges of voyeurism and three of taking indecent images of children.

Swansea Crown Court heard Sturgess hid four cameras in fake smoke alarms to film guests undressing, showering and having sex at Llandysul, Ceredigion.

He was told a jail sentence was likely because the offences against the children were so serious.

The case has been adjourned for pre-sentence reports.

He was bailed on condition he does not leave his home county of Ceredigion.

Zoom in

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

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

Sturgess hid four cameras in fake smoke alarms to film guests at the holiday cottage in Ceredigion

His former partner, Teresa Crick, had told the court how he set up a secret camera system to spy on holidaymakers staying at their rental cottage next door to their own property.

He advertised the cottage for £400-a-week on the internet and was backed in the venture by the Welsh Tourist Board.

Ms Crick, 51, said Sturgess, originally from Abingdon, Oxfordshire, would watch a TV monitor showing their naked guests.

She reported him to the police after they split up.

Prosecutor Christopher James said: "Police went to the house and searched the property and discovered a sophisticated CCTV monitoring system with the ability to record pictures and sound."

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

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

After the verdicts, the court was told Sturgess has previous convictions for indecent assault and battery.

Judge Keith Thomas told him: "The charges involving teenage children will mean a custodial sentence."

Sturgess was given bail so he could make arrangements for the welfare of his farm animals before being sentenced next month.

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