Teacher ‘filmed children in shower cubicles’

York Crown Court
York Crown Court

A teacher from North Yorkshire has appeared in court charged with secretly filming young children as they undressed in shower cubicles and dormitories.

Simon Mark Knowles, 52, faces 11 charges of voyeurism in Harrogate, dating back to 2009.

Knowles is charged with creating films, typically lasting no more than three minutes, of children showering or getting dressed and undressed after swimming, at various locations in Harrogate.

Knowles is also charged with 13 counts of making and distributing images of children being abused, including some of children as young as three.

A second man, Martin Kenneth Almond, 48, of Carnot Street, off Leeman Road, in York, also faces six linked charges of creating indecent images of children. Both appeared before York magistrates this week.

Knowles, formerly of Bridlington and now of Haighfield Caravan Park in Leeds, wore a smart grey suit and spoke only to confirm his name, age and address at the preliminary hearing this week. No plea was entered.

Martin Butterworth, for the prosecution, said the images range from one to five on the Copine Scale, used to measure the seriousness of images of children, with five being the most serious grade.

He said: “He has actually used covert cameras to capture school children getting changed for PE.”

Knowles was told the crimes were too serious to be dealt with at a magistrates’ court and that it would be referred to crown court.

He is expected to appear before magistrates in York again in February for committal to crown court.

He was granted bail with a number of conditions, including being forbidden to have unsupervised contact with anyone under the age of 18.

Almond’s case was adjourned for one week.

The school cannot be named for legal reasons.