Durham man put secret cameras in toilets and stole women's underwear from student accommodation

David Wales placed secret cameras in toilets and stole underwear from student housing in Durham. Credit: Durham Police

A man who placed secret cameras in toilets and stole underwear from student accommodation has been jailed for almost three years.

An investigation of David Ian Wales found he possessed recordings of women in toilets, collected indecent images and footage of children and stole underwear from student housing.

The 45-year-old, from Sherburn Road, Durham, was arrested after the material was found on devices during a search of his home.

Officers discovered more than 11,000 images and videos and also found footage of Wales setting up cameras in various toilets.

Along with two counts of voyeurism, two counts of attempting to observe a person doing a private act and two counts of making indecent photos of a child, Wales also pleaded guilty to a string of burglaries which saw him break into student properties and steal valuables such as iPads, mobile phones, cameras and even women's underwear.

Wales was jailed for 34 months at a hearing at Durham Crown Court on Tuesday 12 September.

The complex investigation was led by Detective Constable Georgina Lewis and Susan Cason, from the Digital Investigations team supported by Detective Constable Jason Quye from the Volume Crime team.

DC Lewis said: “This was a difficult and disturbing investigation which included the review of hundreds of extreme and distressing pieces of digital material.

“Officers from varying departments worked intensely to build a strong case which left Wales with no option but to plead guilty.

“I hope that his sentencing provides some comfort to his victims who were completely unaware of his sexual offending.”

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