Northern Ireland

Judge questions bail for convicted voyeur

A judge has questioned why a registered sex offender who breached an order to stay away from children was released on bail by police.

Rodney Seffen, 42, of Cherry Tree Court in Dungannon was convicted of voyeurism offences in 2009.

He had trained a camera from his previous address in Magherafelt on his neighbour's house and secretly filmed a 12-year-old girl in her bedroom.

A sexual offences prevention order banned him from having contact with children, possessing recording equipment and residing at any address other than his own without prior permission.

However, Dungannon Magistrates Court heard on Wednesday that, according to police, Seffen had been spending several nights a week at his partner's address in Coalisland.

She is the mother of two children, aged 12 and 17, who have both provided statements to police.

Seffen is charged with breaching the order twice on dates between 1 June and 17 October, by having contact with two children as well as being in possession of a tablet computer capable of internet access.

He is also charged with failing to notify police he was staying at a different address to that which he was ordered to reside. He denies the charges.

The judge said: "Why on earth did police grant bail in this case?

"The defendant is a registered sex offender and it is suspected he moved himself into a house with two vulnerable children. The public have a right to be protected."

The judge imposed a number of conditions, including an order to present himself at Dungannon Police Station on weekdays, an overnight curfew and a ban on having internet access, recording equipment and binoculars.

He will appear again in court next month.