A serial "upskirter" who was caught indecently filming several unsuspecting women has been sentenced to jail.
Pedro Suarez will spend a minimum nine months behind bars after he was caught using a hidden video camera to film up the skirts of multiple women, including two teenage schoolgirls, in the Wollongong CBD.
The 42-year-old, who pleaded guilty to the recordings, was nabbed by Crown St Mall security earlier this year as he followed closely behind two girls wearing short skirts, a police statement before the court said yesterday.
Suarez was spotted holding a bag underneath one of the teen's uniforms as she walked along before he turned his camera on the other girl as she boarded an escalator.
Suarez was later arrested and confessed to filming several women for indecent purposes, admitting to capturing one woman while she waited for a train at Wollongong Railway Station.
Suarez had switched the camera on and popped it in the bag's side pocket before he sat next to the girl, who was sitting on a platform bench, and slid the bag under her legs, the court heard.
He then targeted two women as they walked through the mall, placing his bag under one of the women and filming her legs.
A short time later, Suarez followed a girl as she crossed the street, placing the camera under her skirt and capturing footage of her upper thighs as she walked, completely unaware of the illicit recording.
Suarez then found the teenagers, both dressed in their school gear, and followed them extensively as they walked around the shopping centre, the court heard.
He filmed up the skirt of one teen as she wandered before recording the other girl as she stood on an escalator.
Suarez then followed the pair into a shop, again filming up one of the teen’s skirts.
Suarez, of Wollongong, pleaded guilty to four counts of filming a person’s private parts without consent.
Defence solicitor John Gallagher yesterday described Suarez’s actions as distasteful, admitting his client was self-destructive.
Mr Gallagher told the court Suarez had a limited record but had a drug problem and could benefit from counselling.
Sentencing Suarez to jail, Magistrate Michael Stoddart described the man’s behaviour as appalling, stating there was a need to send a clear message that indecent filming would not be tolerated.
Suarez was sentenced to an overall 12 months’ jail with a nine-month non-parole period.