Rector Martin Thrower filmed boy in public toilet

The Very Rev Martin Thrower Image copyright Google/Church of England
Image caption The Very Reverend Martin Thrower, rector of Hadleigh, Layham and Shelley, has now admitted two charges of voyeurism

A clergyman who held his mobile phone over the top of a public toilet cubicle and filmed a 17-year-old boy has admitted voyeurism.

The Very Reverend Martin Thrower, 56, had denied two charges of voyeurism, but changed his pleas to guilty after the first witness gave evidence.

Norwich Crown Court heard Thrower was arrested at a shopping centre in Ipswich in August.

Judge Katharine Moore adjourned the case for reports.

Thrower will be sentenced on 3 August.

Image copyright PA
Image caption At interview, Martin Thrower said he had been taking such footage "for a couple of years since 2014"

The court was told the boy heard a noise above him while on the toilet at the Buttermarket shopping centre.

The teenager looked up and could see someone's hand holding a mobile phone.

William Carter, prosecuting, said: "He [the 17-year-old] reacted by getting up smartly and grabbing the phone. Unsurprisingly, he was pretty shocked and upset by what had happened."

'Weird kind of desire'

He said the teenager took the phone to a security officer who detained Thrower until police arrived and arrested him.

Mr Carter said police found three further videos recorded that day, 4 August 2016. including two of other men who had not noticed they were being filmed.

Thrower, of Church Street, Hadleigh, Suffolk, is rector of Hadleigh, Layham and Shelley.

Officers seized computer equipment from his home and found 589 still images of "hundreds of different men", Mr Carter said.

At interview, Thrower said he had been taking such footage "for a couple of years" at places including supermarkets and service stations.

Thrower, who is on bail, is suspended from all roles by the Diocese of St Edmundsbury in Ipswich.

The church has launched a disciplinary process against him which could conclude with him being removed from office and banned from all clergy roles.

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