Liverpool JMU student charged after secretly filming sex and sharing in rugby group chat

The woman filmed was unaware she was being recorded

A Liverpool John Moores student recorded a video having sex with a woman, and sent it to his rugby team’s WhatsApp group without her knowledge or consent.

Samuel Heron, 23, shared the 16-second clip with the entire rugby team, the Liverpool Echo reports.

The victim was unaware the video had been shared. She was notified by a friend that the video had been shared and then went to the police to ask for help.

Heron was charged with voyeurism and appeared at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court this week.

Appearing in court, Heron accepted that he filmed himself having sex without the victim’s consent.

He had previously admitted to one count of voyeurism.

Tom Hanlon, prosecuting, said: “The defendant filmed a 16-second clip without the complainant’s knowledge. It was shared in a rugby team WhatsApp group.

“As soon as she became aware of this the defendant tried to contact the complainant to explain, she didn’t want contact with him but obtained the video clip to make a decision whether to go to police. She did.”

On the day of conviction, defendant Gerald Armstrong said: “The rest of his life will be changed.

“He has not only lost his character, he could lose his liberty.”

Armstrong added: “I am aware of the rugby culture that occurs around a university. My impression of Sam’s behaviour on this occasion is he was heavily involved in the culture.”

Heron admitted in court that the video was only intended to be shared once in the group chat, but District Judge Clarke noted that “there’s no control where this will go next”.

District Judge Clarke continued to say that this is a “breach of trust” to film the sex, and that forwarding the video “went beyond that.”

The judge said: “Everybody accepts this has been a particularly nasty and serious offence, there are certainly features of it that place it in that category.” He also said the effect on the woman was “huge”.

In addition to being on the Sex Offenders Register and having a restraining order, Heron has received a 20-week sentence, has been suspended for 18 months and now must complete five Rehabilitation Activity Requirements and the Horizons Programme.

If you or someone you know has been affected by this story contact Refuge on their free 24/7 helpline 0808 2000 247 or contact Rape Crisis online for a free confidential chat helpline.

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