Sutton nursery worker filmed young children over eight years using sophisicated recording equipment

Croydon Guardian: Nursery teaching assistant jailed after filming up children's skirts Nursery teaching assistant jailed after filming up children's skirts

A paedophile nursery worker who filmed up children's skirts at work was sentenced to 12 months in prison.

James Hoffman, 34, who has Aspergers syndrome, could be out of prison in six weeks because of time he has already served following his sentencing at Croydon Crown Court yesterday (October 15).

The self confessed loner used sophisticated recording to equipment to film children between the ages of five and eleven at an after school club.

He was arrested after a hidden camera was found by adults in the staff toilets of a nursery in Sutton.

Hoffman, of Purley, worked for the Jancett Nursery group across south London from the age of 18.

His voyeurism was only discovered when a member of staff went to the toilet and a camera fell out in the cubicle.

The court heard how when Hoffman was asked by another member of staff why he had done it, he said it was because he was lonely and he had never had a girlfriend.

A subsequent raid of his home found recordings dating back over many years. It has not been possible to identify any of the victims in the footage.

Twenty five minutes of footage was found which was filmed over a fence of half-naked children playing in a garden.

A further 25 minutes of footage was found filmed over a fence of half-naked children playing in a garden.

The films also included at least 16 secret recordings of people going to the toilet. Two victims have been identified but a number are still not known.

Ten indecent images of children were also found on Hoffman's laptop in the police raid. They included an image at level five, which are classified as the most extreme images of child pornography.

He pleaded guilty to eight charges of voyeurism, and four of possession of indecent images of a child, at Croydon Crown Court on August 22.

Hoffman was told by Judge Daniel Flahive he will be put on the sex offenders register for ten years.

He said: "This is a very serious offence as you were in a were in a trusted position. You are anxious in the company of adults and unable to interact socially. I have read the psychiatric reports and it appears very likely you suffer from Aspergers, which goes some way to explain your behaviour. However, an immediate custodial sentence is necessary due to the invasion of privacy and your abuse of trust."

Senior lecturer in criminology at Middlesex University Dr Elena Martellozzo said: "This is not the first time we hear about a professional person abusing his position of trust to take advantage of innocent children. Sadly, there is at least one James Hoffman in every community and even sadder is that they are not easily identifiable."

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