The problem with affordable surveillance equipment

A top doctor's perverse campaign of voyeurism unravelled when he accidentally filmed himself on one of the James Bond-style hidden cameras he rigged to watch his victims on the toilet. Depraved NHS consultant Dr Lam Hoe Yeoh, 62, spent three years filming more than 1,000 patients, colleagues, friends and even children as young as three in intimate moments with tiny recording devices concealed in watches, pens and hearing aid boxes.

The world-renowned hearing specialist fed his obsession by using cameras hidden in lavatories at NHS and private hospitals across Britain, his offices, the bathrooms at his £750,000 detached home in Banstead, Surrey, and even trains as he travelled to appointments. But Yeoh was caught red-handed when one of the devices fell off a toilet at a Surrey hospital and a colleague found it. Police later seized tape which accidentally recorded him peering into a spycam as he tried to attach it in footage that would eventually seal his conviction.

Today Judge Warwick McKinnon at Croydon Crown Court condemned Yeoh's 'nefarious and despicable actions' as pictures of the high-tech devices he used in his perverted spying were released by police.

Sentencing him to the 'substantial' jail term of eight years in prison, of which he will serve five years before being released on licence, he said:  'The sheer scale, the gravity, the ingrained and compulsive behaviour demonstrated by the offences is significantly important. 'You are considered a high risk to the public.
'(Had you not been caught), I have no doubt that this prolific offending on a hitherto unprecedented scale would have continued.' One of Yeoh 's victims waved sarcastically as the shamed doctor was led from the court to begin the sentence. 

Speaking outside court, police said Yeoh was 'one of the most prolific non-contact offenders ever investigated'.
Victims as young as three were discovered on a secret stash of 1,100 images and video files hidden in Yeoh's home in Garratts Lane, Banstead, following his arrest on April 14. The disgraced physician was bent double in the dock as he heard his fate, and there were gasps from the public gallery, which was packed with victims, including nurses and doctors, as the sentence was read out. Police discovered Yeoh had inadvertently filmed himself installing it and searches of his offices and home revealed he had amassed a collection of footage.
Investigators said it would take at least two years to examine the huge hoard of digital material on 17 computers, laptops, external hard-drives and memory sticks.

In a sinister twist, the doctor created compilations of his colleagues using the toilets and carefully labelled them with their names, actions and the date. He also edited together footage of him interviewing patients with intimate shots from the toilet, including in some cases images shot from multiple cameras. One of his closest colleagues was unwittingly filmed more than 300 times. Prosecutor Peter Clement said: 'This was a sophisticated, organised, planned and long-running campaign of voyeurism, the scale of which was vast.

'It was beyond anything previously encountered by the Metropolitan Police. His voyeurism targeted colleagues, friends, patients and patients' children, male and female. His intention was sinister, indecent and criminal.
'He grossly abused the very high degree of trust placed in him as a consultant physician as well as a friend and colleague.'
Yeoh worked as a consultant vestibular physician, specialising in hearing complaints such as tinnitus, vertigo and dizziness, after coming to Britain from Malaysia aged 25. He rose through the ranks to become an honorary senior lecturer, expert High Court witness and director of two companies. His two daughters attend Cambridge University and the family were known to neighbours as respected professionals and devout Christians.
But his career came crashing down when a camera was found in a communal toilet at the privately run St Anthony's Hospital, in Cheam, Surrey, on April 14. When police confronted Yeoh, he said: 'Will I go to jail? I was so stupid, don't tell my family. It's not serious – I can't go to jail.'They found 23 covert cameras, which were disguised as computer memory sticks, pens and watches, including three hidden in hearing aid boxes in his car. 
A memory stick he was carrying on a lanyard around his neck when he was arrested carried a short film entitled: 'Cardiff train teenager.'

Computer experts found that Yeoh had used the cameras to film at medical facilities including the private Portland Hospital, in central London, St Helier Hospital and clinics in Exeter, Nottingham, Sutton, and Thames Ditton, Surrey.

Hours of footage was also captured on trains, including a girl, believed to be just three years old. Other victims included friends and colleagues who were invited to his home for social events. Police were able to identify only 32 victims, many of them staff at St Anthony's Hospital. There are at least a further 1,084 unknown victims. Yeoh gave detailed labels to the recordings, which included phrases such as 'sweet young teen' and 'thin young blonde, Exeter'. In mitigation, Yeoh's barrister said he was an obsessive 'collector' who recorded so much material he was unable to view it all.Yeoh admitted seven counts of voyeurism, six charges of making an indecent image of a child and one of possessing extreme pornography. 

Yeoh, who spent much of the hearing weeping with his head bowed and his left hand splayed firmly across his face, showed no emotion as he was led into custody. Speaking outside court, Detective Constable Aaron Moon praised the victims for coming forward. He said: 'I would like to thank all the victims for their fortitude, I would also like to thank the many other hard-working and dedicated health professionals across the south east and around the country that have been affected by this case.
Yeoh admitted seven counts of voyeurism, six charges of making an indecent image of a child and one of possessing extreme pornography

'With images of people filmed in consultations and lavatories, his footage is truly appalling and abhorrent.
'It has had an enormous detrimental impact on everyone we have spoken to who has come into contact with him.
'It seems he has had no regard or respect for anyone he has come into contact with for many years.'
Mr Moon added: 'We believe he (Yeoh) is one of the most prolific non-contact offenders ever investigated by the Metropolitan Police or any other police force in the country.

'But now the lie he has led for many years has been exposed and he has been forced to answer for his actions.' The judge gave Yeoh limited credit for his guilty plea, but said he considered him a danger to the public.

Yeoh was given an eight-year term for six counts of making an indecent image of a child, of which five years would be served before being released on licence.
He was given 17-month jail sentences for five counts of voyeurism, nine-month terms for two further counts of a similar nature, and a nine-month sentence for possessing extreme pornography.

All sentences will be served concurrently, meaning he will spend five years in prison.

He must also sign the Sex Offenders' Register upon release. Yesterday the court heard Yeoh had applied to be struck from the medical register. Outside court, victims said they were 'relieved' the ordeal was over.

In carrying out his well-organised campaign of making opportunistic images of both adults and children, Dr Yeoh abused his position of trust for his own sexual gratification.

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