Man denies charges linked to alleged seaside resort ‘spy-glasses’ incident

Christopher Hodgen (64) leaves Coleraine Magistrates Court on an earlier date

A 64-year-old man has pleaded not guilty pleas to charges of attempted voyeurism and attempting to take an indecent photo of a child.

The man was charged following a claim ‘spy glasses’ were allegedly used in a bid to film a young boy changing in a north coast seaside resort.

Christopher Hodgen, of Salisbury Court in Belfast, entered not guilty pleas to the two charges he faces at Coleraine Magistrates Court in relation to alleged offences on July 27 this year.

The details of the attempted voyeurism charge are that he ‘attempted, for the purposes of sexual gratification, to record another person doing a private act knowing that the other person would not consent to being recorded’.

The second charge is that he ‘attempted to take an indecent photograph or pseudo-photograph of a child’.

At the time of an alleged incident in a public area at The Crescent in Portstewart there was widespread publicity and it was alleged a man had attempted to film a child changing at the seaside with a pair of specially adapted glasses.

No details concerning the background to the charges being denied by the defendant have yet been outlined in court during the two appearances in the dock by the accused.

A defence lawyer previously told court the defendant had been the subject of police bail conditions which banned him from the ‘Triangle’ area on the north coast other than for court purposes.

At the previous court District Judge Peter King converted police bail to court bail in the sum of £500.

The defendant was not to possess any device capable of recording or which could access the internet.

He was to have no contact with children and was not to enter schools or children’s play areas.

He was also banned from the Portrush and Porstewart areas.

At court this week a defence barrister said both charges are to be contested.

The case was adjourned to later this month and the defendant was released on continuing bail.

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