Landlord used secret cameras to film couple in bed

Jonathan Hartwell pled guilty at Edinburgh sheriff Court. Picture: Greg Macvean
Jonathan Hartwell pled guilty at Edinburgh sheriff Court. Picture: Greg Macvean
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A young couple, who were allowed to use a flat owned by a friend, found to their horror that they were being filmed in the bedroom and bathroom on hidden cameras.

At Edinburgh Sheriff Court today, 39-year old Jonathan Hartwell of McDonald Road, Edinburgh, pled guilty to setting up the covert cameras to record adult males and females undressing and using the toilet and shower, between May 31 and August 12 last year.

Fiscal Depute, Brian Robertson, told Sheriff Gordon Liddle that Hartwell was the landlord of the flat in McDonald Road and had let the man and woman, who were friends of his at the time, use it.

They had moved in on August 10. Two days later, they found a box on the living room table which contained an inbuilt camera which could be plugged into a laptop.

The Fiscal said the couple did this and saw a picture of the female getting out of the shower and pictures of other people. They contacted the police.

Mr Robertson said the police found two hidden cameras in the bedroom and bathroom which showed images of people asleep in bed, showering and using the toilet. “The cameras were set up to watch people in the bedroom and bathroom” said the Fiscal.

He added that Hartwell had been psychiatrically examined and was found to have no psychiatric illness.

Hartwell’s defence solicitor, Jennifer Cameron, said it was obvious that a background report would be required and she would reserve her plea in mitigation.

Sheriff Liddle described Hartwell’s actions as “nasty voyeurism” and deferred sentence for a background report.

He told Hartwell: “This is a matter which clearly needs careful consideration in order to understand what lay behind this”.

He also ordered Hartwell to register as a sex offender.