‘Pornography as addictive as drugs’, Hawke’s Bay judge says in covert filming case

New Zealand

Tony Greathead, prison officer, facing up to 14 years for making and distributing objectionable material from covert showering filming, pictured at the Hastings Court, Hastings. 30 October 2018 Hawke’

A former Airbnb owner who secretly filmed women in the shower has been given more jail time after filming another, this unconscious time, victim and uploading material to the internet.

Tony Mark Greathead, 39, appeared in the Napier District Court via video link from prison on Friday.

The court was told that his latest victim had taken sleeping pills and was not conscious on the occasions when he made intimate recordings of her, some of which he posted to pornography sites.

Judge Gordon Matenga described this as a “gross breach of trust” and added three years and eight months to a prison sentence Greathead is already serving.

Judge Matenga said that Greathead had pursued pornography “to the point of addiction”, leading him to view his commonplace sex life as “mundane” as he searched for excitement.

“Pornography can clearly be as addictive as drugs,” the judge said.

In 2018, Greathead, 39, was jailed for four years and four months after filming women in the shower of the Airbnb he operated, and publishing some of the videos of them on the internet.

At that time, he pleaded guilty to 69 charges involving 34 women, who were aged mainly under 30. Eleven videos were uploaded to a website under his profile name “bathroomvoyeur” and seven were judged to be objectionable.

On Friday, he was released after pleading guilty to a further 14 charges – five of sexual connection and nine of knowingly making or publishing objectionable material.

The more recent charges relate to offending from around the same time as his previous crimes and were laid after 27 video files and more than 2000 images were found on a hard drive he had owned.

The new sentence means that Greathead has been given a cumulative total of eight years imprisonment for all of his offending.

On Friday, he was also issued with a “first strike” warning which would mean a harsher sentence if he offends in future.

The victim of his latest offending was present in the court when he was charged. She read a victim impact statement, the content of which was suppressed by the judge.

Defense counsel Matthew Phelps referred to an ACC assessment which was among the reports prepared for the judge, which he said showed there was a link between Greathead’s offending and his experiences as a child.

“He was raised in a highly sexualized environment. He is a victim of sexual abuse himself,” Phelps said.

However, Crown solicitor Megan Mitchell said that any causative link between Greathead’s childhood experience and his offending was “questionable”.

She said that the sexual violations were repeated, planned and pre-meditated, and were carried out while the victim was unconscious and vulnerable.

A “significant volume” of material was created and shared, Mitchell said.

Judge Matenga told Greathead that, clearly, his attitude to sexual behavior was influenced by the things he experienced in his formative years.

This led him down “the path of being excited by pornography and you continued to view pornography to the point of addiction”.

This had a “devastating effect”, the judge said.

“Your active sex life became mundane and commonplace to you compared with what you were viewing as pornography,” Judge Matenga said.

“You sought out excitement and that is what has led you to offending in this way.”

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