Family split after teenager tried to film girlfriend’s mother having bath

Thomas Jason Patrick Edgar leaves Newtownards Magistrates Court after receiving a two-year probation order

Thomas Jason Patrick Edgar leaves Newtownards Magistrates Court after receiving a two-year probation order

A Co Down teenager who tried to secretly record his fiancee’s mother taking a bath has walked free from court with a two-year probation order.

As well as the probation term, 19-year-old Thomas Jason Patrick Edgar was ordered to sign the police sex offenders register for five years.

Imposing the orders at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court, District Judge Mark Hamill told the smirking Edgar “that’s how we will protect other victims like this lady in the bath”.

Speaking outside the court, his victim, who has waived her right to anonymity, said while she was “happy enough” with the sentence and the protections which had been put in place, her family had been totally split.

Revealing that her daughter and Edgar got engaged the day after he was convicted of attempted voyeurism, she said his actions “have broke a whole family apart”.

“What worries me is that he admitted doing this for near a year and my young son and his mates would use that bathroom so God only knows what he has on video, that’s what scares me,” said the woman.

“He’s so cocky and confident that I would not be surprised if he’s done this before.”

At the end of his contest last month Edgar, from Park Head in Portaferry, was convicted of a count of attempted voyeurism in that “for the purpose of sexual gratification, he attempted to record another person doing a private act knowing that the other person did not consent to being recorded for sexual gratification” on November 21 last year.

A prosecuting lawyer described how the lady noticed that he was in the habit of leaving his phone in the bathroom but “thought nothing more than he was untidy”.

On November 21 last year, however, she spotted his mobile phone hidden in a slipper when she went to the toilet and noticed it was “glowing” so picked it up believing there was a phone call but it was in fact “on record”.

She confronted Edgar after he had left his iPad against the bathroom wall when she went to have a bath.

He claimed he was “trying to play a joke” and when he was interviewed after being arrested Edgar claimed he had been trying to record his then girlfriend as a “practical joke rather than anything more sinister”.

However, Judge Hamill yesterday said the trial had been “a ludicrous contest from start to finish”, and labelled Edgar’s claims as a “fairy story”.

Defence barrister Chris Holmes, who confirmed that Edgar and his victim’s daughter were “still together”, said despite his fairytale stories Edgar had “always accepted that his behaviour was foolish, stupid and wrong”.