Coffs Harbour Man Sentenced For Filming Women in Change Rooms

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A Coffs Harbour man has escaped prison after filming woman without their knowledge in popular shopping centre dressing rooms.

Michael Anthony Jung, 47, appeared in Coffs Harbour Local Court on Monday.

The father of three had previously pleaded guilty to 12 offences where he filmed the women without their consent on 12 separate days in dressing rooms of various clothing shops in Coffs Harbour.

It was heard that the man would place his mobile phone in a position where it he could capture the footage from the neighbouring cubicle.

The offences took place in late 2019 and early 2020, before one female victim noticed the camera, took a photo, and alerted Police, who later arrested the Coffs Harbour man.

Following his arrest, Mr Jung admitted all offences to police in a taped interview.

Magistrate Ian Rodgers classed the activity as “a very high level of seriousness”, saying that they involve “a large number of factors that raise very serious concerns”.

Mr Jung’s solicitor, Benjamin Curnow, noted that his client had no previous criminal history and asked that Magistrate Ian Rodgers consider a community based sentence in the way of an Intensive Corrections Order, as the man was seeking counselling and “his partner is supportive of him despite the charges”.

He said that the man had lost his job in January due to Covid19 and was hopeful to gain employment opportunities.

Police Prosecutor Sgt Heidi Warren said in court that on 12 separate days Mr Jung went to the shopping centre to carry out the targeted offences.

“It’s an absolute breach of community trust”, Sgt Warren said.

“The victims are in a position of vulnerability, there are multiple victims”.

Concerns were raised during sentencing about the offender’s attitude towards the crime, Sgt Warren saying that when he met with Community Corrections, he said that, “he knew it was wrong, but the opportunities continued to present themselves”.

Sgt Warren questioned this, saying that he went searching for the opportunities.

“He has consciously made a decision to target stores, with certain setup, where women are getting changed”.

Magistrate Rodgers said that Mr Jung “seems to downplay that level of planning”, which he believes is a greater concern.

“In my view that creates no comfort, and in some respects, makes these offences more serious”.

He said that one of those filmed was described as a teenager, “so there was real potential that he could’ve captured images of children”.

It was heard in court that on one occasion the man also had taken his own children to the shopping centre with him, while on another occasion his wife and children were also at the shopping centre.

A tearful Mr Jung sat alone with his head bowed in the courtroom before standing to hear the penalty given.

Magistrate Rodgers said “I’m not going to send you to gaol today”.

He then sentenced Michael Anthony Jung to a 3 year Community Corrections Order, and 18 month prison sentence to be carried out as an Intensive Corrections Order.

He is also ordered to complete 100 hours of community service.

Magistrate Rodgers told him that should he commit any further crime, there would be no other option than a full time custodial sentence.

Wiping away tears, Mr Jung said, “I understand”.

20 July 2020

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