Spy camera in gym: Govt manager fails in Supreme Court bid, will lose name suppression

A porn-addicted Government manager who planted a spy camera in a gym bathroom has failed in his bid to take his case to the Supreme Court and will lose name suppression tomorrow.

The high-level Government manager placed a small USB spy camera in the changing room of a gym in the Auckland area.

After it was found, police discovered a total of 39,360 still images and 12 video files on the camera, showing six victims in various states of undress or naked.

The man eventually pleaded guilty to a representative charge of intentionally making an intimate visual recording of another person.

He escaped conviction and was granted permanent name suppression by a District Court judge last year.

The secrecy around the case was driven in part by the man getting a promotion just before the Covid-19 lockdown and fear that his job and workplace would be negatively affected if his name and details of his offending went public.

But in October last year the High Court ruled the original decision to keep his details secret was wrong, based on “incomplete and inaccurate information” and “knowledge of the fact that a high-ranking public servant has committed this offending is clearly in the public interest”.

The High Court decision came after a police appeal against the original sentence and suppression order.

The man then mounted a second appeal – which was dismissed.

The Court of Appeal said the offending was serious and “should not be hidden”.

The man then sought leave to appeal to the Supreme Court, which today declined his bid.

The Supreme Court did not think the man’s arguments compelling enough to hear his case.

The court ruled that the man’s name suppression will lapse tomorrow.

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