A peeping tom has been handed a restraining order after he dangled an A4 sized mirror on a stick outside a neighbour’s window – to spy on her naked.
Mark Stoodley, 56, lowered the device after noticing there were no curtains on the woman’s window.
The terrified woman, who was preparing to move out after previously catching Stoodley spying on her while sunbathing, was only alerted when she saw the huge mirror moving “up and down like a yo-yo”.
The mirror was then quickly removed before a mobile – lit up as if recording – was dangled down in the same place.
Stoodley was handed a three year restraining order after he pleaded guilty to observing a person doing a private act for the purpose obtaining sexual gratification.
Stroud Magistrates Court heard the stunt was the latest in a series of events which worried the woman so much she was about to move out.
Peter Ashby, prosecuting, said: “She noticed him over several years on a number of occasions watching her, including her sunbathing in the garden.
“That made her feel ‘freaked out’ in her words and she started to move out.
“On July 25, 2013 at 10pm she went to her bedroom – there were no curtains in her windows because she was packing to move.
“She got undressed and was not wearing clothes, before getting in to bed, and went under the duvet.
“At 10.30pm she noticed something dangling down outside her window. It was a mirror, about the size of an A4 piece of paper.
“It was being moved up and down like a yo-yo for 20 minutes.
“She stayed under the duvet, the mirror went and a mobile telephone was dangled down.
“That was lit up, as if it was working. She believed she was being recorded. It was hoisted out of view.
“She got out of bed and hung coats outside her bedroom window.
“She looked up and saw him standing nearby with a mobile telephone in his hand. She moved out of sight.”
Stoodley was arrested shortly afterwards and admitted taking 100 pictures of his neighbour while sunbathing in the garden over a period of three years, said Mr Ashby.
“He described it as a game,” Mr Ashby added said. “He felt like he was being invited to look.
“In police interview he said ‘She is a very beautiful woman and I enjoy looking at her’.
The bench followed the recommendations of a pre-sentencing report and imposed an 18 month conditional discharge.
A restraining order for the same period was imposed. He was ordered to pay #85 towards prosecution costs and a #15 victim surcharge.