2015 BCPC 7

In 2015 BCPC 7, a 39-year-old restauranteur, Mr. B, pleaded guilty to voyeurism after installing a video camera in his restaurant’s unisex washroom. Noting that Mr. B “described a sense of excitement in the surreptitious act of watching patrons in secrecy,”[1] and finding that Mr. B’s conduct was “thought out, planned in advance, and deliberate,”[2] the court concluded that a conditional discharge would be contrary to the public interest. As the court wrote:

It is my view that given the times in which we live, where privacy in the public sphere has been eroded by the prevalence of surveillance cameras or the ready deployment of cell phone cameras in public places, the expectation of personal privacy in highly private places must be protected. Members of the public who use the restroom facilities of any bar, restaurant or similar establishment must be assured of their utmost privacy. The law must protect that privacy by ensuring a deterrent and denunciatory sentence which sends the message that a criminal record is likely to result if criminal acts involve a serious breach of personal privacy.[3]

Mr. B received a 12-month suspended sentence with probation including a ban on possessing or using any devices capable of making film or photos, a DNA order, and 60 hours of community service.[4]

[1] 2015 BCPC 0007 at para 13.
[2] 2015 BCPC 0007 at para 27.
[3] 2015 BCPC 0007 at para 38.
[4] 2015 BCPC 0007 at para 39.


Criminal Offence(s): Voyeurism