A MAN of previous good character “spied” on a young woman in private situations for his own sexual gratification, a court heard.

David Kirk covertly filmed the woman naked and in various other states of undress in her bedroom and while showering in the bathroom.

Durham Crown Court heard he used a motion-activated pen camera which he sometimes placed in a white box with a cut out hole.

The former nurse, who admitted being sexually attracted to the woman, created at least ten videos with the captured footage, some lasting up to 20 minutes.

Paul Newcombe, prosecuting, said it came to light when she noticed a flashing light in a drawer after showering.

On investigation she discovered the miniature recording device and some of the captured images were instantly accessible, showing her dressing, washing and getting into bed.

Police were informed and, on his arrest, Kirk said: “I know what I’ve done. I’ve been an idiot.”

The 49-year-old, of Selby Gardens, Consett, admitted four counts of voyeurism, relating to the filming and placing of the covert camera.

The court heard the victim felt “violated” by his activities and feared the images could have been posted online for wider circulation.

Adam Scott, mitigating, told the court: “He accepts he did it to satisfy his own sexual needs due to a lack of intimacy in his own life.

“He felt on-going sexual isolation and, at the time, was regularly viewing pornography and was attracted to her, leading him to behave in this appalling manner.”

Mr Scott said Kirk, who suffers a degenerative form of osteoporosis, was ashamed at his actions and wanted to apologise to the woman concerned and her family.

Imposing a 20-week prison sentence, Recorder Bryan Cox said: “There was a substantial planning and ingenuity in what he did.”

Kirk must sign the Sex Offenders’ Register and will be subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, both for seven years, while he is prevented from contacting the woman under an unlimited restraining order.