An engineer who hid a secret camera in his shoe avoided jail after he admitted making ‘upskirting’ videos of 250 women.
Richard Whyley, 32, took a 6,436 images of unsuspecting women’s private parts and underwear while following them as they went shopping.
The father of two young children preyed on his victims in Worcestershire between June 26 and August 15, 2019, while wearing specially modified ‘camera boots’.
The university worker and engineer also secretly filmed women getting undressed in their own homes as well as one couple having sex.
He was finally caught when a 16-year-old girl raised the alarm after hearing a camera click while shopping at H&M in Worcester on August 15, 2019.
Richard Whyley, 32, from Stourbridge, Worcestershire, (pictured) was spared jail and sentenced to a three-year community order after he was found to have more than 6,000 pictures of unsuspecting women
Whyley, of Stourbridge, Worcestershire, admitted voyeurism and two charges of recording an image under clothing and operating equipment without consent.
But he was spared jail after being sentenced to a three-year community order at Worcester Crown Court on Monday.
Sentencing, Judge Martin Jackson said: ‘It is concerning that your offending is of such an extent.
‘It seems to me this was something done for sexual gratification and you have accepted that by pleading guilty to the charges.
‘There was a significant degree of planning, in particular the use of the GoPro camera and adaptation of footwear enabling you to place it inside the footwear so it could be used.
‘The victim was barely 16-years-old at the time and she should have been able to enjoy the prospects of her future adulthood.
‘But she’s said already she’s so worried about what might happen and can’t even wear the clothes she wants and leave her house without feeling anxious.
‘She’s now a young adult and it’s affecting where she wants to go to university, something no 16 or 17-year-old should be having to face.
The father of two young children preyed on his victims in Worcestershire between June 26 and August 15, 2019, while wearing specially modified ‘camera boots’ and was finally caught out by a 16-year-old girl who heard a camera clicking in H&M in Worcester
‘I don’t think you really truly understand the impact of your offending on her or upon others who have been a victim of your actions.
‘In this case, I have to ask myself if there is a realistic prospect of rehabilitation and you have undertaken voluntary therapy and contacted another charity to try address your offending behaviour.’
The court heard the victim was on her first-ever shopping trip looking after her 10-year-old cousin when Whyley took a photo up her skirt after following her onto an escalator.
She attended court to see Whyley learn his fate and bravely read out her victim impact statement to the judge.
She said: ‘When this happened I had only just turned 16 and had gone shopping that day – it was the first time I had ever taken my little cousin off like that by myself.
‘Since then, I have felt incapable of taking her out again and haven’t felt I could protect her.
‘I won’t even answer the door if I’m alone and things that I could do before I can’t now.
‘I have become so conscious of what I wear when I’m out and in the town and there’s other people around.
‘I feel incredibly wary of middle-aged men that I can’t trust and am constantly looking over my shoulder to keep myself a safe distance from other people.
‘I also try not to go anywhere myself as I’m anxious that I’m going to be followed.
Whyley, of Stourbridge, Worcestershire, admitted voyeurism and two charges of recording an image under clothing and operating equipment without consent. Pictured: Worcester Crown Court
‘I worry about what might have happened if I had been by myself or if he had chosen to follow me and feel guilty for the other people that have been a victim of this man and don’t know about it.
‘I worry about who has those images and it gets me really anxious to think that I don’t know where they have gone.
‘I have recently applied for university and I’m making decisions about my future and want to do that without thinking about this and protecting myself.
‘This has impacted on every aspect of my life and I’m now constantly anxious and worried about something happening.
‘But I shouldn’t have to feel like this because of what this man did whilst I was out shopping with my family.
‘I’m going to have to live with this for the rest of my life.’
The court heard Whyley was traced using Worcester city centre’s CCTV to a building owned by the University of Worcester after the victim raised the alarm.
And with the help of staff at the university officers were able to identify him and arrest him whilst he was working testing fire alarms.
A search of his company vehicle revealed two pairs of shoes with holes cut in the toes and an SD card with 94 images and videos recorded through windows of peoples homes.
He took over 6,400 images of women, including of their buttocks and genitals. Police identified 250 separate female victims.
Nicholas Wragg, defending, said: ‘The images that were taken by him were never uploaded to the internet on any occasion.
Whyley was traced using Worcester city centre’s CCTV to a building owned by the University of Worcester after the victim raised the alarm. Pictured: Stock image of Worcester city centre
‘He is of previous good character and shows remorse and has taken steps to address his offending behaviour.
‘He pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and has worked hard all his life and has led a law-abiding life.
‘He also has two children and the defendant’s partner actually found out she was pregnant with her second child five days before.
‘This has weighed heavily on the defendant’s mind and his partner’s mind and he has had this hanging over him not knowing what could happen to him.’
Whyley was also ordered to pay his victim £750 compensation, made subject of a five year sexual harm prevention order and ordered to sign the Sex Offender’s Register for five years.
He was ordered to abide by an electronic curfew tag between the hours of 9pm to 6am for four months, pay £340 in court costs and undertake 40 rehabilitation requirement days and an accredited sex offender program.
Sergeant Chris Buffery, of West Mercia Police, said after the case: ‘Richard Whyley was quickly arrested after a member of the public noticed his suspicious behaviour.
‘His other victims were not aware of what he was doing. I’d like to thank the victim who came forward for her bravery in raising the alarm.
‘We have never been able to identify any other victims of this degrading crime, however it is those images which have helped to contribute to this case being brought to court.
‘Anyone who believes they may be a victim of a sexual assault is encouraged to contact us and report it.’