UOW student admits to secret shower filming

A University of Wollongong student jailed for secretly filming female students naked has been released on bail pending an appeal.

Jad Al-Shaddad confessed in Port Kembla Local Court on Tuesday to using his mobile phone to secretly record three women on separate occasions as they showered in the unisex bathrooms at the student residence International House in May and June this year.

During each incident, Al-Shaddad would occupy the cubicle next to his victim and hold his phone slightly over the partition with the camera switched to record mode.

He pleaded guilty to three charges of filming a person in a private act without their consent, acknowledging he'd made "a disgraceful error of judgment".

Magistrate Michael Stoddart sentenced Al-Shaddad to four months' jail, rejecting pleas for leniency from his lawyer.

"It's disgraceful behaviour [that] shows a complete lack of respect," he said, noting the court wasn't dealing with a single act but three individual incidents.

Al-Shaddad immediately lodged a severity appeal against the sentence, which will be heard in the District Court in August. Magistrate Stoddart agreed to release Al-Shaddad on conditional bail until the appeal is heard, provided that he surrender his passports to police and continue to live in student accommodation at Kooloobong Village.

Police facts tendered to the court said the first woman Al-Shaddad filmed was unaware she was being recorded, while the second noticed the phone but did not confront Al-Shaddad, instead reporting the incident to house management.

However, when the third victim became aware she was being recorded, she screamed abuse at Al-Shaddad over the cubicle partition, wrapped a towel around herself and bailed him up outside the cubicle, demanding he explain himself.

However, Al-Shaddad denied any wrongdoing.

The matter was again taken to student leaders, who created an internal incident report.

The two victims aware of the filming complained to police the following day. Al-Shaddad was arrested on June 11 and his mobile, laptop and iPod seized. It was only after the devices were examined that police discovered the videos involving the first victim.

Defence lawyer Jonathan Kearney said Al-Shaddad - a permanent Australian resident who had lived most of his life in Qatar - had been experiencing a difficult time owing to splitting with his girlfriend of three years upon his return to Australia in February to study.

"He's extremely apologetic for the way he's behaved," Mr Kearney said.

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