An 18-year-old has been found guilty of five acts of a lewd obscene and disgusting nature and outraging public decency at Fermanagh Youth Court this week.

The charges related to the up-skirt filming of two teachers who worked at Portora Royal and Enniskillen Royal Grammar School, as it became in September 2016. The recordings took place while the defendant was a student at the school.

The defendant, Timothy Boomer, 18, was not in court for the verdict and will be sentenced on March 12. He is no longer a student at the school.

District Judge Michael Ranaghan stated that it had been a “humiliating” experience for the victims. He and a panel found that the defendant was guilty of all five charges.

In his summary Mr. Ranaghan stated that the acts were of a lewd and disgusting nature, that there was a reasonable expectation that others could have seen the acts taking place and that both the teaching and student body at the school where the acts took place could be considered members of the public.

In a statement after the verdict NASUWT, The Teachers Union, Northern Ireland, described the behaviour engaged in by Boomer as “degrading”:

“Our members have had to endure not only the violation of knowing that a pupil took intimate images of them while they were teaching, but also several years of anxious delay before this case could be brought to court. It was only due to the persistence of the NASUWT and the strength and resolve of the members that it did so at all,” Chris Keates, General Secretary, said.

The statement went on to say that the verdict will “hopefully provide the teachers with a sense of closure” and will allow the victims to “move on from these distressing events,” and that it “sends a message to teachers that they do not have to put up with sexual harassment or abuse in the workplace”.

Boomer, through a PR agency in Belfast, issued an apology yesterday afternoon.

“ I am deeply sorry for the distress, worry and pain I have brought about by my actions. I want to express my regret and remorse for the hurt I have caused to my teachers. It was a wrong, horrible thing to do and at that age I stupidly and wrongly thought it was a daredevil prank ,which I genuinely meant no harm by. I recognise how wrong I was and that my actions have had a devastating impact on my teachers and also my parents, and family. My regrets will be with me for the rest of my life,” his statement read.

During Mr. Ranaghan’s summary the court heard that a USB pen had been found in a classroom of the school and that upon investigation of its contents, the five recordings were found along with documents relating to the defendant.

Mr. Ranaghan read from the statement of one of the victims who described one of the filming’s as taking place outside of the classroom and in the school grounds. The injured part stated that the defendant was behind her for the filming and that pupils, staff or other people visiting the school could have seen the act taking place.

Mr. Ranaghan stated that “the panel found that there was any number of potential witnesses to these acts”.

He went on to say that it would have been clear to anyone witnessing the act that the defendant had “positioned his hand to film up the skirt”.

He said that it was the panel’s finding that there was “no doubt that the act would have outraged any decent and mature member of the public”.

Mr. Ranaghan said that it may have been the case that some within Boomer’s peer group would have considered the act a “childish prank” but that the panel were also satisfied that the peer group was wide enough to contain members who would also have been outraged by the act.

The two victims were in court with family members and members of their teaching union. When the verdicts were announced the group embraced.

The five charges relate to the up-skirting filming of two female teachers between 1 February 2015 and 13 September 2016. The defendant was aged between 14 and 16 during the timespan of the charges.

At a previous hearing the defence had contended that the filming had been an act of “bravado” and amounted to a “childish prank”. However, Mr. Ranaghan said that he and the panel was not taking into consideration any possible motive behind the act. And that the panel was satisfied that the acts carried out by the defendant were of lewd, obscene and disgusting nature.

Mr. Ranaghan went on to say that the panel then had to deal with whether the event took place in a public place. He told the court that the panel took into consideration that access to Enniskillen Royal Grammar School is restricted and that evidence of both the current and former principal stated that there was a strict policy regarding admittance of members of the public to the school.

However, Mr. Ranaghan told the court that the panel found that members of the school body, staff and pupils, could consider themselves to be in the public domain. Comparing schools to shopping centres he said that “a school setting is no different in terms of one’s expectation to privacy”.

Boomer will be sentenced on March 12.