TV gardening presenter Steve Brookes JAILED after secretly filming women in his bathroom using a camera hidden in an air freshener

A TV gardening expert who secretly filmed women in his bathroom using a hidden camera has been jailed for a year.

Perverted Steve Brookes, 55, known as telly’s Mr Rotavator in the 1990s, set up the motion-activated device on top of a cupboard.

The celebrity gardener – who has broadcast live from the Chelsea Flower Show – spied on a total of seven women between November 2015 and September last year.

They included lodgers living at his property and other people who had been invited to dinner.

Brookes, of Loxley Road, Stratford-on-Avon, Warks., pleaded guilty to seven charges of observing a person doing a private act knowing that the person did not consent to being observed for his sexual gratification.

But magistrates in Leamington Spa committed the presenter to crown court for sentencing today.

He was given a 12-month prison sentence at Warwick Crown Court and will spend half of it behind bars and half on licence, reports the Coventry Telegraph.

He will also sign the sex offenders' register for seven years.

Judge de Bertodano said: "It must be immediate. A message must be sent out.

“There’s something pretty unpleasant for these young women that they now know that you have seen images of them that will be in the your head forever.”

At a previous hearing the court heard grandfather Brookes was arrested in September last year after a female tenant spotted the hidden camera in the bathroom.

Police discovered 300 files, including videos taken near a shower and toilet, after seizing a memory card, an iPhone and an iPad belonging to the gardener.

Prosecutor Baldev Atwal said: "It appears that the device was on a constant recording loop. The camera was motion activated.

"Mr Brookes iPhone had an application whereby he would become aware of the activation of that camera and could watch the recordings as they were reviewed and unfolded."

The court heard Brookes' seven female victims had expressed their "horror" and "shock" after the camera was uncovered.



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Mr Atwal added: "What will clearly trouble this court is that Mr Brookes has gone to some extent and some length as far as planning and setting up the camera is concerned.

"The offences cover a substantial period of time.

"The victims express their horror, their shock, their disgust and indeed some of the recordings clearly show ladies having used the toilet, (and) changing personal items."

Michael Jervis, defending, told the court Brookes appreciated that he was facing a custodial sentence and regarded his own behaviour as "disgraceful and disgusting".

Urging JPs to sentence the celeb gardener at the magistrates court, he added: "He is full of remorse and if there's anything he could do to turn back his actions then he would have done.

"Not because of the fear of going to prison but because of the impact these acts had on the victims.

"He considers his behaviour to be disgraceful, he considers his behaviour to be disgusting.

"Mr Brookes himself has a reputation locally of great repute, he has become a very well known character in the local community.

"Not only that but also because of his employment.

Mr Brookes has gone to some extent and some length as far as planning and setting up the camera is concerned

"You see what he does. He writes books, he has been on television, he has created a certain character encouraging youngsters to become interested in horticulture."

Brookes became known as "Mr Rotavator" in the 1990s for his work on educational Channel 4 shows and visiting schools to encourage horticulture.

According to his website he has broadcast live "for many years from Chelsea Flower Show and BBC Gardeners' World Live".

His website adds: "He has also written regularly for the gardening press including BBC Gardeners' World, Amateur Gardening, Garden Answers and Garden News magazines."

Brookes also won the Royal Television Society Award in 2000 for his Channel 4 series 'Growing Plants' and was chairman of Stratford's In Bloom project until earlier this year.

He regularly presents The Greatest Gardening Tips in the World stage show and travels the world as a celebrity lecturer on cruise ships.

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