Webcam victim reveals horror at being spied on by voyeur Andrew Meldrum

Andrew Meldrum's 11,000 covert images included some of one victim naked, in her underwear, on the toilet and "in positions of intimacy". Photo: Police handout

A woman who was spied on in her bedroom by a man who bugged her webcam has told ITV News of her horror at how easy it was to do, but said she supports a decision not to send the voyeur straight to jail.

Andrew Meldrum was given a 12-month suspended sentence and a fine after spying on three women for more than a year.

He compiled thousands of covertly taken private images, including naked shots and one victim on the toilet, after secretly installing simple spying software on their computers.

ITV News Correspondent Juliet Bremner reports:

Meldrum was described as a "jealous and controlling" man who ran the plot for his "own sexual gratification".

The 30-year-old admitted three counts of unauthorised access to computer material and was found guilty of two counts of voyeurism after a trial at Woolwich Crown Court.

The verdict and sentencing were the first for a cyberstalking case in the UK.

Meldrum, a former Goldsmiths University student, remained undetected for 15 months until the women - who cannot be named for legal reasons - discovered the programme had been installed on their computers.

"Even when I found out about it I couldn't believe that it had actually happened," said the woman who gave her reaction to ITV News but cannot be identified for legal reasons. She added:

It was so shocking to see how easy it was and how quickly it was for someone to be able to install it and watch me and to do it inside my own home. It makes you question as a person what you do and how you live your life.

Despite the intrusion, she was satisfied justice had been done, saying:

I believe the judge came up with the right conclusion.

If this is going to rehabilitate him and make other people think before they do things and if it's going to help anyone then that's fine.

Sentencing, Recorder Mark Heywood QC said: "It's clear from the evidence that many, many, many recordings were made by the computers of the three young women... concerning the most private acts in their own homes."

Met Police condemned Andrew Meldrum, saying he "effectively hacked into" the three women's lives.

He ordered Meldrum to forfeit his computer and pay a contribution to prosecution costs of £2,100 plus a £100 victim surcharge.

Responding to the sentence, a Met Police spokesman said:

I would like to thank all witnesses in this investigation but especially the three victims who gave evidence on matters that were clearly of a private, intimate and personal nature to them. Meldrum effectively hacked into their lives.

I hope that they can take some consolation in the guilty verdict that sends out a clear message to anyone that this type of intrusion into a person's private life is not acceptable and the Metropolitan Police will support all victims and pursue all suspects.