News State NSW News Unit manager pleads guilty to secretly spying on tenants via hidden cameras

Unit manager pleads guilty to secretly spying on tenants via hidden cameras

Cameras were found within the face of clocks in various units. Photo: Getty
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A Sydney unit manager has pleaded guilty to almost a dozen charges after he used hidden cameras to film tenants having sex, going to the toilet and showering.

James Ernest Maxwell has admitted to 11 charges including filming a person’s private parts without consent, intentionally recording an intimate image without consent, and installing a device to observe or film another.

The 49-year-old, who has also worked as a flight attendant, is expected to face court in April after entering his plea earlier this month.

He was charged last year after a tenant found a small lens hidden in the face of a clock which was kept in the bathroom of a unit Maxwell managed, according to a police statement of facts tendered in court.

The tenant then saw an SD card taped to the back of the clock and plugged it into his computer, finding videos of his housemates naked, showering, using the toilet and masturbating.

“None of these people appeared to know that they were being filmed,” the facts say.

When police attended the unit and a second residence linked to Maxwell, a wall clock in a couple’s bedroom had a camera installed in the lower corner of the number 10.

A clock facing one man’s bed had a camera hidden within the number 6, as did a watch and another bathroom clock contained a micro SD card.

The police facts say officers seized more than 30 items capable of recording audio and vision including clocks, laptops, mobile phones and a car key.

They contained a “significant amount of material and data” including video files and images in which nine people were captured “in private acts including showering, using the toilet, masturbating and sexual intercourse”.

A search of Maxwell’s phone revealed an eBay purchase for a “Hidden Nanny Spy Camera” as well as an application called “Cooky Cam” which can be used to remotely access video footage, the facts said.