David Armstrong, 47, used a camera hidden inside a plastic bag to take videos of scores of unsuspecting women as they walked along Edinburgh’s Princes Street over a nine-year campaign.
He was a caught with more than 300 homemade upskirting films when Cyber Crime Unit officers turned up at his flat in the Dalry area of the capital with a warrant to search for downloaded child abuse pictures.
Police seized his computer, camera and a mobile phone and during their investigation they discovered the sordid collection along with more than 500 Category C indecent images of children.
Armstrong, a data analyst, also admitted to police he had secretly filmed while he worked at a Virgin Media office in Edinburgh though claimed not to have indecently filmed employees.
He pleaded guilty to the two offences when he appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in February and he returned to the dock for sentencing on Tuesday.
Sheriff Donald Corke said: “Neither of these [offences] was a victimless crime. Women in Edinburgh will be horrified to think you might have taken a perverted interest in them.”
Sheriff Corke placed Armstrong on the sex offenders register for three years and ordered him to take part in the Moving Forward Making Changes programme as part of a supervision order.
Armstrong will also have to adhere to a conduct requirement by handing over all devices capable of connecting to the internet when asked to do so by police.
He has also been banned from possessing a camera without prior approval and will have to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.
Previously prosecutor Sophie Hanlon told the court police raided Armstrong’s home at 9.15am on April 19 last year and after seizing computer equipment found “video clips taken covertly with a camera placed inside a bag”.
Ms Hanlon added: “During the [police] interview he explained he would make a hole in a bag and place a camera inside.
“He then filmed videos of females, the lower half of their legs and their buttocks and the camera view was pointed up the females skirts.
“He accepted he had done this on Princes Street in Edinburgh and other locations and had done it for a long period of time.”
The fiscal added Armstrong, of Dalry, Edinburgh, admitted filming at his workplace with Virgin Media but “did not film up females skirts but had taken covert footage” within the office.
Armstrong was found to have amassed a total of 351 upskirting videos along with 541 Category C child abuse images said to depict “erotic posing by females aged between ten and 16”.
Solicitor Rebecca Weissgerber, defending, said her client currently works as a data analyst and that he had suffered from “alcohol difficulties for some time”.
The brief added Armstrong had also recently completed a sex offenders rehab programme with the Stop It Now organisation.
Armstrong admitted to using a mobile phone or similar to film women’s genitals, buttocks and underwear without their knowledge or consent at Princes Street and at Virgin Media, The Gyle, both Edinburgh, between December 1, 2010 and April 19, 2017.
He also pleaded guilty to possessing indecent images of children at his home address between October 29, 2017 and April 19, 2018.
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