Cops only discovered the covert device after raiding David Whitehead’s home in connection with vile child sex abuse images.
By David Meikle
A taxi driver who installed a hidden camera to film under the clothing of unsuspecting passengers has been jailed for 22 months.
David Whitehead, 53, set up the covert device in a twisted bid to record members of the public as they traveled in his vehicle.
His seedy spying operation saw him capture footage of a passenger but it only came to light when police raided his home in connection with extreme child pornography.
Officers launched a dawn raid at the property in Cumbernauld, after a tip-off and discovered sickening clips and images.
The disturbing haul of 2503 photos and 1529 videos included extreme footage of abuse.
Whitehead appeared at Airdrie Sheriff Court and admitted taking or permitting indecent images of children between August 2005 and August 2017.
He also admitted having the hidden camera in his car between August and September 2013.
He was jailed for 22 months by Sheriff Derek O’Carroll who also placed him on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.
The court was told Whitehead was stripped of his taxi license soon after his arrest last year.
Ross Brown, defending, said: “It is always very sad to have to represent a client who at a mature age comes before the court for the first time. In pleading guilty, I would reiterate that he takes full responsibility for his misdemeanors.
“I have spoken to him about the charge involving the taxi and he says there had been a number of attacks on colleagues and that was the primary reason for the installation of the camera but when it comes to the positioning of it, there was a secondary purpose for that.
“This was not an easy matter for him to come to terms with and have to disclose to his immediate and wider family. While not condoning it, they are supporting him in his recovery.
“He was formerly a good man but his fall from grace has been a significant one having to admit to these offenses.”
Depute fiscal Agnes Meek earlier told the court police raided Whitehead’s home after receiving information a device at his address had indecent images of children available for sharing.
She added: “A systematic search was carried out and a number of devices were seized. The accused, while standing in his kitchen in front of officers, stated, ‘It is all me, nothing to do with my boy’.”
Sentencing Whitehead, Sheriff O’Carroll said: “The placing of the camera with the view to take images of those using your taxi and also the fact that you were in a position of trust which you abused by placing it to take indecent images means there is no alternative to a custodial sentence.”