Devon

Voyeur soldier Matthew Walters told 'to return to Army'

A soldier who secretly filmed teenage girls in the shower has been spared jail to continue serving in the Army.

Matthew Walters, 37, used a miniature camera to record the girls aged 12 and 16 naked in their bathroom.

Walters pleaded guilty to voyeurism at Exeter Crown Court and was ordered to attend a sex offenders programme as part of a three-year supervision order.

The judge told Walters he was "a good man" and his return to the Army would be "wholly appropriate".

The court heard Walters, of Kilkhampton, near Bude in Cornwall, was visiting the house in Devon when he made video clips of the girls that were found on his laptop by the victims' mother.

Recorder Ignatius Hughes QC noted Walters' long and distinguished record of active service with the Royal Green Jackets, now The Rifles, and said combat fatigue and post traumatic stress disorder may have contributed to his behaviour.

Iraq and Afghanistan

He said: "For many years you have served your country and put your own life at risk again and again.

"If I imposed a short prison sentence you would almost certainly lose your career in the Army. That may happen anyway, but I hope not.

"It would be wholly appropriate for you to return to the regular army and I hope that is what happens."

Stephen Nunn, defending, handed the judge a sheaf of testimonials from soldiers who had served with Walters in war zones including Iraq and Afghanistan.

He said: "He felt so thoroughly disgusted with himself he described himself as a monster and made a serious attempt to take his own life and was treated under the Mental Health Act."

Walters was ordered to sign the sex offenders register and his use of cameras was restricted by a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

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