|Innocent: Dean Horn|
Dean Horn, 37, of Cherry Way, Hatfield had no sexual motive, but installed the device because he feared the woman – who snubbed his advances - was emigrating and wanted more info about her plans.
He was found not guilty of one count of voyeurism between May 14 and 16 at the property in Elderfield Place, Tooting in that he installed equipment, with the intention of obtaining sexual gratification by observing another person doing a private act, knowing they did not consent.
Horn provided medical evidence that assisted his case and convinced the court he had genuine deep-rooted fears about her moving away.
The woman did not have to attend the Wimbledon Magistrates Court trial and in a statement confirmed she moved into the address in February, 2014 and knew Horn from her time in Devon.
She was alone in the flat on May 14 and reached for a shoebox on a shelf in her bedroom.
“I saw a small rectangular object pointing directly at my bed. I realised it was a camera and switched it off,” she told police.
The device had a USB socket and the logo had been blacked-out.
She took it to a friend's house and one of the files contained a five to six second clip of her sleeping in bed.
The woman received a text from Horn, who wrote: “I'm sorry. This Australia thing got into my head.
“I got so paranoid you were moving out I went mental. I know I can't repair trust or our friendship after this.”
The woman reported Horn to police, telling them he asked her out on a date a month after she moved in and after declining there was: “awkwardness for a couple of weeks.”
She stated: “It's unlikely I'm going to share a flat with a male again.”
Horn's lawyer Mr. Christopher Pulman said: “The recording device was there to record a conversation rather than images.
“Rather odd decision-making took place to install this device. He has had counselling since and he admits he was behaving rather strangely.
“He felt unable to talk to his room mate about her leaving so sought to record her conversation.
“The defendant gave a full account in interview.”
Prosecutor Miss Jackie Hughes previously told the court: “On May the fourteenth, the victim, a tenant at the same place at 2pm found a black recording device in the corner of her room, pointed at her bed.
“She took it away to be analysed and one of the videos was of her sleeping in bed.”