Friendship between a couple which began in Helston as teenagers and continued to be close for some years afterwards hit a downward spiral when the male took intimate photographs of her on his mobile phone while she was asleep. 

At Truro Magistrates’ Court Richard Michael Harvey, aged 29, giving an address in Bedfordshire, pleaded guilty to a charge of voyeurism at Helston on August 30, recording another person doing a private act, intending to obtain his sexual gratification by looking at it.

Anthony Eskander, for the CPS, said the couple had remained close friends since their teens.

In August last year Harvey came to Cornwall to visit his parents. After going out together, the pair returned to the female’s home in Helston, and she told him he could sleep on the sofa when she went upstairs to bed. 

Sometime during the night, he entered her room and asked her for a cuddle. She agreed, provided he remained fully clothed and on top of the bed. 

She went to sleep, only to awake later to find him lying next to her, naked from the waist down. He told her: “You are a sexy bitch”, and “There is no place on earth I would rather be right now”.

She saw the light on his mobile phone and realised the bed covers were off the bed and she was only wearing a T-shirt. He had his mobile phone between her legs, taking photographs.

He said: “Sorry, I am such a twat”, and she told him to get out of the house.

She told the police what happened and he was arrested at his parents’ address. 

Images on his phone showed a female lying on the bed in an undressed state, and his computer tower confirmed the same images.

Harvey admitted to the police he had taken the photographs, not for sexual gratification, he said, but as a memento.

In the female’s victim statement, she said the incident had left her really upset and shocked that a person she trusted as a friend could do that to her.

Richard Cogar, for Harvey, said that crucially, there was no evidence that the images were uploaded, transferred or circulated and shown to anyone else, and an extensive examination by the police of his recording equipment found no suggestion that the images were shown to other people.

Harvey was sent to Truro Crown Court on August 14 for sentence.