Teenage ‘upskirter’ may have to face the teachers he targeted

A teenager found guilty of taking ‘upskirt’ pictures of two teachers may have to face the women again to hear about the impact of his actions, a court has been told.

Tuesday, 12th March 2019, 11:59 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th March 2019, 1:00 pm

Timothy Boomer, 18, has been convicted of five counts of outraging public decency in relation to videos he took as a pupil at a Co Fermanagh school in 2015 and 2016.

A sentencing hearing at Enniskillen courthouse was told that Boomer, who now lives in Wales, had consented to participating in a youth conference.

The conference is a meeting involving an offender, their family, the police and usually the victim, and is designed to make the offender better understand the effect of their crime.

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District Judge Michael Ranaghan said while the court might ultimately opt to pursue the youth conference option, he stressed that “all sentencing options remain open”.

Mr Ranaghan adjourned sentencing for four weeks to allow the Youth Justice Agency to formulate recommendations in relation to a conference.

Boomer was found guilty last month by a panel of magistrates of committing acts of a lewd, obscene and disgusting nature and outraging public decency by making the covert video recordings.

The incidents happened at Enniskillen Royal Grammar School when he was aged between 14 and 16. He turned 18 during the legal proceedings.

The two teachers were in court on Tuesday as Mr Ranaghan outlined the panel’s approach to sentencing. Boomer did not attend the hearing.

Mr Ranaghan said the court was “not bound” by the Youth Justice Agency’s recommendations, though he acknowledged they would carry “real weight”.

“All sentencing options remain open to the panel in relation to Mr Boomer,” he said.

In the wake of the verdicts, Boomer issued a statement apologising for the “distress, worry and pain” he had caused.

“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,” he said.

In court on Tuesday, his lawyer said he consented to a youth conference.

The solicitor also reiterated Boomer’s apology to the court.

“I have been asked to express my client’s apologies and for that to be noted before the court,” she said.

Mr Ranaghan said victim impact statements provided by the two teachers would be a factor in the panel’s consideration of sentence.

He adjourned the case for sentence on April 9.

“Everyone can put this matter behind them in so far as they can after April 9,” he said.

The district judge made clear that Boomer would have to appear in court on that occasion.

“Mr Boomer has been excused from attending so far. That is not going to continue,” he said.