Teenager sentenced over ‘upskirt’ videos of teachers

Incidents happened at Enniskillen Royal Grammar School when Timothy Boomer was aged 14 and 15

Timothy Boomer makes his way into Enniskillen Court House for sentencing.  Photograph: Pacemaker Press

Timothy Boomer makes his way into Enniskillen Court House for sentencing. Photograph: Pacemaker Press

 

A teenager found guilty of taking upskirt videos of two teachers in Co Fermanagh left his victims feeling violated, objectified and vulnerable, a judge has said.

Timothy Boomer (18) was sentenced to a 20-hour restorative order on Tuesday following his conviction in February for five counts of outraging public decency in relation to covert footage he took as a schoolboy.

The restorative order, overseen by the Youth Justice Agency, will focus on the impact on the victims. The judge said the order would help Boomer “understand the serious and significant impact of his actions”.

Noting the teachers’ victim impact statements, District Judge Michael Ranaghan told Enniskillen Youth Court the crimes had a significant “emotional and physical” impact on the women’s work and family life.

The judge acknowledged that Boomer, now a student in Wales, had shown remorse for his actions.

The incidents happened at Enniskillen Royal Grammar School in 2015 and 2016 when Boomer was aged 14 and 15. The offences came to light when he was 16, and he turned 18 during the legal proceedings.

‘Morally wrong’

Frank O’Donoghue QC, for Boomer, stressed that his client is now a different person, four years on from the first offence. He said Boomer had never denied committing the offences and appreciated his actions were “morally wrong”.

The lawyer said the case had attracted unprecedented notoriety for a youth court disposal, which had impacted on Boomer and his family.

For the offence of outraging public decency to be successfully prosecuted it must be established that it was committed in a public place.

The NI Public Prosecution Service initially decided not to pursue the case, amid uncertainty about whether a school was a public place, but later changed its mind.

Speaking outside the court, Justin McCamphill, national official for the NASUWT teaching union in Northern Ireland, said the prosecution was “groundbreaking” as it had established that schools were public places.

“Our two members have a sense of relief that the case is finally over,” he said.

“They have felt vindicated in what they have had to fight for. They have had to fight for two years to have this case heard in the first place.”

He added: “These five incidents when the members were videoed and how they were dealt with has led to our members suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

“It has had an immense impact on them in relation to how they actually go about their daily lives. They feel vulnerable, they worry that people maybe out there have seen these videos and it is something that is always on their minds.”

A spokeswoman for Enniskillen Royal Grammar School said: “Given the highly sensitive nature of the issue for all concerned, it would not be appropriate for the school to comment.” - PA