Sacked builder admits voyeurism after being caught with telescope

Elstob admitted voyeurism at Newcastle Crown Court.
Elstob admitted voyeurism at Newcastle Crown Court.

A Peeping Tom builder has admitted spying on a woman through open curtains in her home.

Steven Elstob had previously been employed to carry out work at Stockton Road, Sunderland, and found that the building faced the home of a "lady who was not drawing her curtains".

On April 29, the 46-year-old went back to the former workplace, when he was not supposed to be there, with a telescope so he could watch the woman for his sexual gratification.

At Newcastle Crown Court Elstob, of Durham Drive, Fellgate, Jarrow, pleaded guilty to voyeursim and possessing a small amount of amphetamine.

Elstob took a large bag with him into the dock, in preparation for being sent to custody after entering the guilty pleas, but was granted bail until the sentence hearing on July 13.

Reports will be prepared in the meantime, to assess any future risk he may pose.

Judge Amanda Rippon told him: "You have brought a bag today, bring a bag next time. There may well be a prison sentence."

Elstob was ordered to sign the sex offenders register on an interim basis.

Stuart Graham, mitigating, told the court that Elstob had a key for the building because he had formerly worked there with other builders.

Mr Graham said: "That is how he found out about the fact there was a young lady who wasn't drawing her curtains. The defendant has lost his job over this.

"He did have a very good job. It was a foolish, foolish thing."

Elstob must not contact prosecution witnesses and has to keep out of Sunderland, except to attend legal appointments as conditions of his bail.

The length of time Elstob must remain on the sex offenders register will be determined after sentence.

A charge of trespass with intent to commit a sexual offence, which Elstob denied, will be dropped - but the court heard Elstob accepts he should not have been in the building at that time.