15/08/2012

Man Caught Spying On Chinese Swim Team Could Be Spared Jail

A man caught in the changing rooms trying to spy on the Chinese Olympic swimming team could be spared jail.

Declan Crosbie was caught peering over the top of cubicles after a woman reported seeing him entering changing rooms at a sports centre in Leeds.

Members of the Chinese team, who were training at the pool, also made a complaint after spotting the 25-year-old man.

When staff at the centre went to look for him, Crosbie hid in a cubicle and tried to answer them in a woman's voice.

He then came out and begged staff not to call the police before running away.

Crosbie, from Leeds, later handed himself in to police and pleaded guilty last month to trespass with intent to commit a sexual offence.

Crosbie was jailed for three years in 2009 after trespassing in a private home and being found standing over a sleeping student, whose trousers had been pulled down.

He also has convictions for voyeurism in 2005 and 2006.

Judge Peter Collier QC questioned if the case should be fast tracked under Olympic rules, but was told the defendant had not specifically targeted the Chinese swim team.

"This offence is technically an Olympic offence because the victims were members of the Chinese swimming team who were training at facilities here in Leeds,” the judge said.

Adding: "There's no suggestion you knew that's who they were and I'm satisfied the sight of any woman would do if she's in a state of undress."

The judge also heard that Crosbie should have taken part in a sex offenders’ programme while imprisoned in 2009, but had not been allocated a place.

He said: "It seems then that the most important thing that I can do for the public is try to ensure you do receive the treatment that you need.

"There's clearly no better prospect of you receiving that in prison now than there was in 2009."

The judge said a three -year community order, involving a period of residence in a bail hostel and participation in a sex offenders' treatment programme, would be an appropriate sentence.

However Crosbie would need to be assessed in a bail hostel for 28 days before the sentence could be passed.

The sentencing was adjourned until 17 September.

(H)

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