United Kingdom

Film director, 43, avoids jail after secretly filming 24 women showering

Pictured: Mark Murphy, who secretly filmed women showering and using the toilet from a camera hidden in the bathroom of his west London home

A movie director secretly filmed women showering and using the toilet from a camera hidden in the bathroom of his west London home, a court heard. 

Mark Murphy, 43, captured hundreds of images using a spycam planted inside a clock in Kensington over eight years before he was caught in March 2019. 

He was handed a 15-month sentence at Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday, suspended for two years, after admitting more than a dozen voyeurism charges.

Murphy was also ordered to pay £5,000 in compensation to each of his victims, to a total of £80,000. 

The director has worked on several films throughout his 23-year career, including The Comedian's Guide to Survival starring James Buckley and horror flick Awaiting. 

The court heard how Metropolitan Police raided Murphy's home in March 2019, where they found hundreds of images of women in his two bathrooms.     

At least 24 victims had been filmed in 278 videos dating from October 2011.

Seven women were videoed on the same day in 2016 when Murphy threw a party at his home in an upmarket Kensington neighbourhood, where properties fetch up to £4.2million.   

Judge Caroline Carberrry said the offences amounted to a 'campaign of voyeurism' against the women for the purposes of 'sexual gratification'.     

She told Murphy the recordings 'captured women engaging in the most private acts within your bathroom which included using the toilet or using the bath or shower.'

'In one particular footage you are engaged in intimacy with a woman in your bathroom and you can be seen looking at the camera and sticking you tongue out as she is performing a sexual act upon you,' Judge Carberry added.

The director has worked on several films throughout his 23-year career, including The Comedian's Guide to Survival starring James Buckley (above in the film)

'I have read all the statements all the women have provided to the police.

'Your behaviour represents a gross breach of the trust they have placed on you.'   

She said the victims had expressed 'shock, horror and disgust' at the violation, with some now fearful of using public or private bathrooms.

Alongside a suspended sentence, Judge Carberrry ordered the forfeiture and destruction of Murphy's laptop.

He was also told to pay £5,000 to 16 of his identified victims, making a total of £80,000, and was made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order.  

Murphy has already paid thousands of pounds in compensation to two victims following civil proceedings, Southwark Crown Court heard.  

PC Bobby Kemp, of the Met's Central Specialist Crime, said: 'After we discovered what Murphy had been doing we were determined to find as many of the victims as possible. We wanted those who Murphy exploited to get both support and justice.

'Finding victims was not always easy, especially as some of the offences went back eight years, but we did everything we could to find all those whose trust Murphy had betrayed. 

'I am glad that we have been able to find so many of the women Murphy exploited.

'If you think you may also be one of those directly affected by this case I would urge you to contact us; we can both advise you and offer you the support you may need.' 

The director, from Buckinghamshire, set up Solar Productions in 1997, and has directed five films including rom-com For Love or Money featuring former Eastenders star Robert Kazinsky.   

Murphy also directed The Comedian's Guide to Survival, featuring Buckley, in 2016. 

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