A SOUTHERN Downs man, who used a covert camera to videotape his 14-year-old stepdaughter in the shower, has been jailed.
The man appeared in Warwick District Court last week, where he pleaded guilty to three counts of indecent treatment of a child in his care.
As well as videotaping the girl, the man also exposed his penis to the teenager while the two were home alone earlier this year.
At the time of the offending the man was in a de facto relationship with the girl's mother, and the couple share a child of their own.
The court heard that while exposing himself through his boxer shorts, the man spoke to the girl about her breasts, asked if she wanted oil rubbed on her body, and encouraged her to have a shower.
The girl told the man he was "disgusting" and he eventually retreated.
Shortly after the incident, the man approached the girl and apologised for what he had done but she told him to "get lost".
When the girl's mother returned later that day, the teenager reported the inappropriate behaviour and the man was asked to leave the home.
During interviews with police, the girl revealed she had also discovered an iPhone displaying the word "recording" hidden in the bathroom after she had showered one day.
She said the device was stashed behind a box, which had a viewing hole for the lens.
The girl's mother confronted the man over the claims and he admitted to obtaining full frontal naked images of the girl in the shower but said he had thrown the device away.
The mother became distraught that someone might find the images of her daughter and the man claimed to have spent a substantial time searching for the phone.
It was never recovered.
Barrister Robbie Davies told the court his client was the product of a difficult childhood and had himself been a victim of physical and sexual violence as a child.
Mr Davies said the man had "well and truly ruined his life" and had already started to suffer consequences of his actions.
"He is genuinely remorseful and he said that what he has done 'makes me feel sick'," he said.
In sentencing the man, Judge Fleur Kingham highlighted to the man that his actions had produced more victims than just the young girl.
"Your unforgivable breach of trust has fractured a family you have formed with the mother of the child," she said.
"The impact of these offences is not confined to the victim alone - there are repercussions throughout the entire family."
Judge Kingham noted the offence of videotaping the girl and hiding the phone under a box with a hole in it required some planning and thought by the man.
He was sentenced to 12 months jail, which is to be suspended after the man serves three months behind bars.
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