Man denies being a Peeping Tom in Exmouth pool

PUBLISHED: 09:46 17 August 2010

Exeter Crown Court

Exeter Crown Court

Archant

Exeter Crown Court has heard how a Peeping Tom used a piece of mirror to watch a mother and child change in an Exmouth swimming pool. Alan Batsch, 58, from Gloucester, told the court he used the mirror to help clean his teeth. The trial continues

But 58-year-old Alan Batsch told police that he used to mirror to help him clean his teeth, the jury was told.

Exeter Crown Court heard that Batsch was in a cubicle at the Devon Cliffs Holiday Park, at Sandy Bay, Exmouth, one day last March.

In the next family cubicle were a family of four who were on holiday at the park who had been in the fun pool.

Prosecutor Terry Holder said the family had gone back to the cubicle to change into their day clothes.

Mr Holder said the mother and her eight year old daughter were still naked in the cubicle in the process of drying when the child saw something on the floor.

He said: “The mother looked towards the floor of the cubicle. There was a male hand with a piece of glass, manoeuvring it an angle in order to attempt to observe a private situation in the cubicle.”

The mother wrapped a towel around her waist and alerted lifeguards who contacted the police.

Batsch was identified by the mother to lifeguards as he came out of the cubicle after she stayed outside it.

She confronted him and Batsch asked her what she meant and ‘what have I done?’

The mum then asked him if he had nothing to hide, then to empty his bag to see if he had a mirror on him.

Batsch initially denied having a mirror but then produced one from his back pocket.

Mr Holder told the jury that the 1.5 inch by 1.5 inch mirror was a ‘rather unusual thing to have within a cubicle’ and it was also rather unusual to ‘angle it in that way below the floor end’ of the cubicle where there was a six inch gap.

In police interview Batsch, of Kingshill Park, Dursley, Gloucs, denied the offence.

He told police he had dropped his personal belongings including his wallet and cash on the floor of the cubicle.

He also said he had dropped the small mirror which he had on him to help ‘cleaning his teeth’.

He claimed the mother had misconstrued his scrabbling around on the floor as he looked for his wallet and the piece of glass.

Mr Holder told the jury that at first blush his account of what happened was ‘implausible and incredible’.

Batsch denies two charges of attempted voyeurism for sexual gratification.

Mr Holder told the jury that the expression Peeping Tom came from the day when Lady Godiva rode naked through the streets of Coventry on horseback.

He said she was complaining about the rise in taxes and was well thought of by the community who all averted their gaze as she rode past naked - apart from one man called Tom who became known as Peeping Tom.

Mr Holder said Batsch was ‘peeping by virtue of a piece of mirror under his cubicle looking at the cubicle where the lady and her daughters were in.

The trial continues.

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