Perverted Leeds police officer set up spycam to film teenage girls

Marc Silkstone.
Marc Silkstone.

A police officer who set up spy cameras which he used to secretly film young girls getting undressed has been jailed.

A court heard West Yorkshire Police officer Marc Silkstone hid a covert camera inside a smoke alarm in order to film a 15-year-old victim.

Silkstone, 37, was arrested in September last year after the teenager became suspicious when she noticed a flashing red light on the device.

On closer inspection she discovered a slot where a sim card had been placed in the device.

The teenager then researched the internet and realised it was a covert camera.

The camera was linked to Silkstone after police were contacted and spoke to the victim.

Angus MacDonald, prosecuting, said Silkstone was out on patrol when he was contacted and asked to return to the police station.

He was recorded on a police car camera stopping next to waste land for eight minutes on his return to the station.

Silkstone claimed he had lost his mobile phone when he returned to the station.

Silstone’s home in Leeds was searched and ‘dummy’ smoke alarms were recovered from the property.

Memory cards were also recovered which contained deleted clips of the victim either naked or in a state of undress.

Footage was also recovered of two teenage girls taken around 2012.

Computer equipment was seized from Silkstone’s home which showed he had made internet searches indicating his sexual interest in children.

A “spy razor” and a “spy watch” was also recovered from the property.

Silkstone denied any wrong-doing when interviewed.

He pleaded guilty to four offences of voyeurism shortly before he was due to go on trial. He was jailed for 18 months.

James Keeley, mitigating, said Silkstone had been a police officer for 14 years but had lost career as a result of the offending.

He said: “He served very well as a police officer in his time and has received commendations. But all of that is now sadly lost.”

Jailing Silkstone, judge Tom Bayliss, QC, said: “You have an interest in children - female children - and you satisfied that interest by voyeurism.

“This was a terrible breach of trust by a serving police officer. As a police officer you should realise the gravity of crimes such as this.

“It was a terrible violation of their young lives.”

After the case, Detective Chief Superintendent Julie Sykes, Head of West Yorkshire Police Professional Standards said: “Silkstone has displayed the most appalling and blatant abuse of trust.

“This wholly inexcusable behaviour has quite rightly resulted in the Judge imposing this sentence today and a sexual harm prevention order to help safeguard other young people from offending by him in the future .

“Now that court proceedings have finished, we will bring the outstanding disciplinary matters to conclusion as quickly as possible.”

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