Polegate man sentenced over voyeurism and child sex offences

A man who covertly filmed three women and girls using hidden cameras and incited a young girl to carry out indecent acts with him, has now been sent to prison following a Sussex Police investigation.

Saturday, 2nd May 2020, 7:42 am

Police said Laurence Wheeler, 32, a cleaner, of Mortimer Gardens, Polegate, was given a six-year sentence with an extended licence supervision period of a further two years, when he appeared by video link at Hove Crown Court on Thursday (April 30) having pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to three counts of possessing indecent images of children, five counts of voyeurism and two counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, over a three period.

He will not be eligible for parole until he has served two thirds of the six-year sentence, and whenever he is released, he will be on licence until April 2028.

Police said he will be a registered sex offender for life and was also made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for life, severely restricting his access to females and communication devices.

Laurence Wheeler. Picture from Sussex Police SUS-200205-073756001

Wheeler was first arrested at a family address New Addington, Croydon, in May last year after intelligence about indecent images of children was obtained by Sussex officers.

They found more than 500 indecent images of children, plus videos filmed with a phone hidden in a bathroom at an address in Hove showing three women, videos of children filmed under the partition in changing rooms at a London swimming pool, and messages from Wheeler to the young girl with two videos showing the indecent acts.

Detective Constable Matt Digweed, of the Brighton Safeguarding Investigations Unit, said: “Wheeler had taken advantage of his access to physically abuse a trusting small girl and had also systematically planned to invade the privacy of the women and the other young children, all for his own sexual gratification.

“When confronted with the outcome of our detailed investigation he had little option but to plead guilty, which then had to reduce the length of the sentence he received.

“As one of the victim impact statements read out in court showed, his offending has had a devastating impact on the young girl and her family.

“However he is now safely away from potential victims, and we now have systems in place to monitor and help control his behaviour when he is eventually released.”