May 2016

Plymouth pervert who took photos up skirts jailed for befriending girl

A PERVERT with a history of secretly filming up skirts has been jailed for making friends with a girl in breach of a court order.

Former Royal Navy sailor Mark Butler, aged 53, went on family days out with the youngster while barred from forming relationships with anybody aged under 16.

Butler, a property landlord, was jailed for 10 months for what a judge called “flagrant and deliberate” breaches of his order.

The father of the girl, who was 12 or 13 at the time, was completely unaware of Butler’s criminal record.

He said after the case: “I am absolutely thrilled that the law has caught up with him.

“It is quite frightening that you can be taken in by someone who is so plausible, who wheedles their way into your life and all the time, unknown to you, they are a serial sex offender.”

Plymouth Crown Court heard that Butler did not act inappropriately towards the girl.

Butler, of Beatrice Avenue, Lipson, admitted contacting or communicating with someone under 16 for the purpose of forming a personal relationship between May and September 2014.

Butler was in breach of Sexual Offences Prevention Order to control his perverted behaviour made by the Crown Court in October 2010.

The order was imposed when he was caught secretly filming a university student – including when she was having sex.

He breached the order for the first time by secretly filming up the skirts of girls in shops,

Butler was also found with footage of a mother and child in swimming costumes at the Life Centre.

He was jailed for six months in October 2014.

Nigel Hall, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said Butler became friends with the girl’s father.

He added the defendant went on a series of days out with her family when the girl was aged 12 or 13.

They visited Woodlands activity park and the Rare Breeds Farm near Totnes, the court heard.

Mr Hall said that the family did not know of Butler’s previous convictions and the girl came to trust him.

He added: “The father said his daughter was vulnerable and was upset when he found out.”

Father-of-one Butler himself revealed his true history to the family in April last year.

Butler had made contact with the girl on seven occasions

The father said that he felt himself and his wife had been manipulated by Butler.

A successful professional, he said after the case: “I am cynical but I ended up being groomed. It is awful to be taken in.

“My work colleagues would never have dreamed of Googling their friends to see if they had committed any sexual offences.

“If my daughter had lost her bus pass and Butler had been the area at the time I would have been quite happy for him to give her a lift.

“We were all shocked. When Butler did tell me what he had done, it was very much watered down. He claimed he was the victim of miscarriages of justice.

“If we had known what he had done, we would not have gone near him with a barge pole.”

He said that his daughter was fine, but he had been left wishing he had kept up the news so he would have been aware of Butler’s past.

September 2014

Plymouth pervert jailed for secretly filming up skirts of girls

A PERVERT has been jailed for secretly filming up the skirts of girls in shops.

Former Royal Navy sailor Mark Butler covertly videoed four children on his mobile phone in jewellery, record and shoe stores, a court heard.

Married Butler, aged 52, was banned from having a device capable of recording images after previous sexual offences.

He also filmed a girl swimming and diving in a pool, Plymouth Crown Court heard.

The videos were all found on his mobile phone after he was arrested.

Jailing him for a total of six months, Judge Advocate Alan Large said: “I fully accept that you have a problem but there comes a time if you are committing offences in breach of orders then you have to go to prison.”

Father-of-one Butler, of Beatrice Avenue, Lipson, was handed a Sexual Offences Prevention Order four years ago for secretly filming a university student – including when she was having sex.

He admitted four counts of outraging public decency and two charges of breaching the order between February and July last year.

The property manager was banned by the order from having a device capable of recording images and from filming children aged under 16.

Kelly Scrivener, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said police arrested Butler after a report that a man had exposed himself to girls from a bridge over the A38 on July 30 last year.

She said Butler was not prosecuted for any offence, but officers seized his mobile phone.

Miss Scrivener added they found four videos shot covertly up the skirts of teenage girls in different shops.

She said there was also footage of a girl with her mother swimming and diving into the Plymouth Life Centre Pool.

Miss Scrivener said the focus was on the girl rather than on the woman.

Emily Pitts, for Butler, said he had undergone counselling and attended meetings of Sex Addicts Anonymous.

She added that social services were heavily involved in the case and he had not been able to live at the family home in Knapps Close, Elburton, for about nine months.

Miss Pitts said his business managing properties would suffer if he were sent to prison.

Judge Large jailed him for six months concurrent on each of the breaches, with three months also to be served concurrently for the offences of outraging public decency.

He also passed a toughened-up Sexual Offences Prevention Order and made it indefinite.

Butler was handed a community order for outraging public decency and voyeurism four years ago.

He was also made to attend a prevention course for sex offenders.

October 2010

Man admits filming up schoolgirl skirts and taking pictures of woman undressing and having sex

A FORMER Royal Navy sailor developed an obsession with a blonde university student and secretly took photos of her having sex, a court heard.

Mark Butler was caught after a police patrol stopped him in the early hours of April 24 following reports of a dark blue Rover car slowing down while passing lone women.

They stopped his car in Beaumont Avenue, St Judes, searched it and found a pair of powerful binoculars and a digital camera.

The camera contained images of a blonde woman, some of them in her underwear, and apparently taken without her knowledge, one through a window.

Butler claimed she was an ex-girlfriend whom he had not seen for a year, but police found the snap had been taken the previous day.

A dozen photos of the woman, some of them showing her having sex with her boyfriend, had been taken between March 7 and 29.

Police eventually traced the woman to a basement flat in a building owned by the company Butler worked for.

She said she had earlier noticed a hole and a tear in her net curtain, but had not realised Butler was using them to take covert pictures of her.

On Butler’s computer, police found a home-made video of two girls aged 13-14 in school uniform, Butler having tried to film up their skirts.

Butler admitted having been to the basement flat 15-20 times, the first by accident when delivering a letter.

He saw the girl, thought she was beautiful and things escalated from there.

He gave police a computer password which revealed more photos of the student and a home-made film taken in a shopping centre, where he had tried to film up women’s skirts.

Butler, aged 48 and of Knapps Close, Elburton, eventually pleaded guilty to voyeurism, attempting to make indecent images of a child and two counts of outraging public decency, but said he got a ‘risk buzz’ rather than sexual gratification from his actions.

Judge Francis Gilbert QC told him: “Your behaviour was both bizarre and outrageous, and is clearly serious enough to merit immediate custody.

“But the public interest will be best served by your attending a programme to stop you committing such offences in future.”

He sentenced him to a community order with three years’ supervision by the Probation Service and ordered him to complete the Thames Valley Sex Offenders’ Programme and to pay £2,085 prosecution costs.

He also imposed a 10-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order.