A Cache Creek man who hid a video camera in a pair of rolled up socks inside his stepdaughter's bedroom touched off a war with his spouse that ended in his criminal conviction.
Nearly two years later, he was sentenced to house arrest and given 18 months probation by provincial court judge Stella Frame. He pleaded guilty to secretly recording in a private place, a Criminal Code offence.
In addition to the offence on his record, defence lawyer Don Campbell said his client's now ex-spouse wrecked the house and spread news of the incident through a Facebook campaign.
The man, whose name is not being published by The Daily News in order to protect his stepdaughter's identity, was eventually arrested by RCMP after his she found a hidden camera in her closet. She was searching for a toque when she pulled open the socks belonging to her stepfather.
"The sock had a video camera concealed inside it," said Crown prosecutor Michael Wong. "It was facing toward her bed."
The young woman confronted her stepfather, ordering him to leave the house.
Wong said the man told his stepdaughter he would break the camera.
Fighting through tears, he later admitted to his spouse he hid the camera and needed psychological help.
The woman moved out of the home and reported the incident to RCMP.
Campbell said his spouse later caused $40,000 worth of damage to his client's home, when she "trashed" the house, then shut off the furnace in winter and opened all the doors.
She then undertook what Campbell called "a significant campaign of character assassination" through Facebook.
Noting positive character reference letters from the stepfather's family and friends, Frame said, "Inside what appears to be a good person, lurks another person who would do this act."
Frame agreed with a joint-submission made by Crown and defence for the offender, who has an earlier criminal record for indecent exposure. He will serve a six-month conditional sentence in the community, including four months house arrest. Following that he will serve 18 months probation.
One of the terms of probation includes a ban on possessing a camera.