The Offence of Peeping or Prying in New South Wales

by Sydney Criminal Lawyers

A 30-year old man who was seen peering into a 13-year old girl’s bedroom window has been sentenced in Manly Local Court.

Former real estate agent, Isaac Teu, was given a two-year intensive correction order which includes 400 hours of community service and a curfew preventing him from leaving his home between 8pm and 5am, after being arrested and charged with two counts of peeping and prying, two of stalking or intimidation with intent to cause physical or mental harm and one of entering land with the intention to commit a serious indictable offence.

According to court papers, the married father was caught on CCTV footage staring into the teen’s bedroom window a number of times – on one occasion taking off his shoes,  walking up to the window and peering into it for 17 minutes.

During his sentencing hearing, Mr Teu testified that he visited the girl’s neighbour’s home 28 times when it was listed for sale. He said he “vaguely” remembered on one occasion walking up the side of her home and peering into her bedroom window.

The court received a report to the effect that Mr Teu is receiving mental health assistance for his underlying issues.

The Offence of Peeping or Prying in New South Wales

Peeping or prying is an offence under Section 547C of the Crimes Act 1900 which carries a maximum penalty of 3 months in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant:

  1. Was in or near a building,
  2. Did not have reasonable cause to be there, and
  3. Was there with the intention of peeping or prying on another person.

The offence also carries a maximum fine of 2 penalty units which is currently $220.

Penalties Imposed in Court

According to the Judicial Commission of NSW, the actual penalties imposed for peeping and prying are as follows:

The average prison sentence is 1 month.

The Offence of Voyeurism in New South Wales

Observing a person in a private act without consent, otherwise known as voyeurism, is an offence under section 91J of the Crimes Act 1900 which carries a maximum penalty of 2 years in prison and/or 100 penalty units, which is currently $11,000.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant:

  1. Observed another person in a private act,
  2. Did so without the consent of the person being observed,
  3. Knew the other person did not consent, and
  4. Did so for sexual arousal or sexual gratification.

A ‘private act’ is where:

  • the person is in a state of undress, using the toilet, showering or bathing, engaged in a sexual act of a kind not ordinarily done in public, or engaged in any other like activity, and
  • the circumstances are such that a reasonable person would reasonably expect to be afforded privacy.

Penalties Imposed in Court

According to the Judicial Commission of NSW, the actual penalties imposed for voyeurism are as follows:

  • Community corrections order: 62.5% of cases.
  • Fine Only: 12.5% of cases.
  • Community Service Order (now community correction order): 12.5% of cases.
  • Prison: 12.5% of cases.

The average prison sentence is 7 months, and the average non-parole period (or minimum prison term that must be served) is 5 months.

Author

Sydney Criminal Lawyers

Sydney Criminal Lawyers® is Australia's Leading Criminal Defence firm, Delivering Outstanding Results in all Criminal and Driving cases. Going to Court? Call (02) 9261 8881 for a Free Consultation.

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