Upskirt pictures of teachers ‘a wrong, horrible thing to do’

Portora Royal School merged with Collegiate Grammar School in September 2016 to become Enniskillen Royal Grammar School
Portora Royal School merged with Collegiate Grammar School in September 2016 to become Enniskillen Royal Grammar School

A former Fermanagh schoolboy convicted of outraging public decency by filming up the skirts of two of his teachers has apologised for his “horrible” actions.

In a statement released on behalf of the now 18-year-old Timothy Boomer, he said he was “deeply sorry for the distress, worry and pain I have brought about by my actions. I want to express my regret and remorse for the hurt I have caused to my teachers”.

“It was a wrong, horrible thing to do and at that age I stupidly and wrongly thought it was a daredevil prank ,which I genuinely meant no harm by.

“I recognise how wrong I was and that my actions have had a devastating impact on my teachers and also my parents, and family.”

In conclusion Boomer, who will be sentenced on March 12, said: “My regrets will be with me for the rest of my life.”

He was not present on Wednesday when District Judge Michael Ranaghan announced the verdicts of the panel of magistrates at Enniskillen Youth Court convicting him of outraging public decency while discounting defence claims it was a “childish prank”.

At the time Boomer was just a 14 to 16-year-old schoolboy when he secretly made five recordings of his teachers at Portora Royal School in Enniskillen between February 1 2015 and September 13 2016.

In all the youth court panel convicted him of five acts of a lewd, obscene and disgusting nature, outraging public decency, which they described as a “humiliating” experience for his victims.

As the verdicts were announced the teachers embraced family members and supporters from their teaching union who were also in court.

District Judge Ranaghan, reading from a summary of the panel findings, said the acts were of a lewd and disgusting nature, that there was a reasonable expectation that others could have seen the acts taking place, and that both the teaching and student body at the school could be considered members of the public.

The five recordings were found on a USB pen discovered in a classroom on November 24 2016. The then schoolboy later admitted it was his and that he had made the recordings.

Mr Ranaghan said “the panel found that there was any number of potential witnesses” to the filming and that it would have been clear to anyone witnessing it, that the defendant had “positioned his hand to film up the skirt”.

And that there was “no doubt that the act would have outraged any decent and mature member of the public”.

At a previous hearing the defence had contended that the filming had been an act of “bravado” and amounted to a “childish prank”.

However, Mr Ranaghan said that he and the panel were not taking into consideration any possible motive behind the schoolboy’s actions.