A woman in Fife has spoken of her torment at being forced to live next door to her pervert dad who secretly filmed her naked.
Briony Paddon, 28, believes she has been failed by the justice system after her father avoided a jail sentence in 2021 for setting up cameras to spy on several women – including his daughter and her close friend – while they were in a jacuzzi in Leven.
Dad Karl Paddon was found guilty of voyeurism and possessing and downloading images depicting child abuse. He did not receive a custodial sentence after the sheriff ruled that imprisoning him would place a “burden” on the prison service due to his various illnesses.
He currently lives next door to Briony in a house that has an internal door adjoining the properties.
“I don’t really have a life because of this,” Briony told STV News.
“I have lost jobs, friends, partners and I have received a lot of abuse from people. I have lost a lot. I was in the garden just last week and my dad drove past me screaming and yelling abuse.
“I have struggled for years. I have just felt so embarrassed and ashamed even though I have done nothing wrong.”
“My bedroom is right by a door leading to my dad’s property. I can hear him giggling and laughing with his friends”Briony Paddon
Paddon moved into the property that adjoins Briony’s own house about ten years ago after splitting from Briony’s mother.
The couple jointly own the adjoining homes and had knocked them together to form one large family home.
Briony, who lives with her mum, older sister and younger brother, said she has blocked up an internal door due to fears her dad may try to film her again.
“My bedroom is right by a door leading to my dad’s property. I can hear him giggling and laughing with his friends,” she said.
“I have placed three bookcases up against my door and sealed the door with duct tape. I am terrified of getting changed in front of the door so I have blocked it off.”
During his trial, the court heard Paddon – who clinched Scottish records for American and American Double archery target-shooting in 2013 – installed spy-cam equipment, normally used to monitor his dogs, at his seafront bungalow.
Images of his daughter and her friend in swimming costumes and “swimming underwear” – recorded in April 2018 – was found on his phone when police raided his property, acting on information that his IP address had been used to download child porn.
As well as the jacuzzi footage, they found more than 1,000 pictures showing children being sexually abused – 124 of the most serious category – on his laptop and iPad.
Briony was on a grouse estate in Northumberland practicing falconry when she received a phone call from her mum saying the police wanted to ask her a few questions.
“When I got back they showed me a still shot from the video footage, which showed two women,” she told STV News, “I recognised them as me and my friend.”
The police told Briony they were investigating her dad but were unable to provide further details because it was an ongoing inquiry.
“I had no idea that was happening, so I confronted my dad’s girlfriend and said ‘I am involved now, you need to tell me what’s going on’,” she said.
“My dad told me his laptop had broke, his mobile phone had broke but they had been seized by the police, and then his girlfriend moved out.
“In the pit of my stomach, I had a feeling it was images of child sex abuse on his laptop. I went to his girlfriend’s house and she told me his computer had pornography and other video footage.
“When I found out, I physically had to run to the bathroom as I felt sick to my stomach – it was panic attacks through the roof.
“My father had parents who abused him so to think he had done this to me made it even worse. This person was meant to be a father figure who protected me, but instead he completely destroyed me, he broke me.”
Paddon denied the charges and said in evidence that others had access to his password-protected equipment and he had no idea that there was illegal material on his devices.
However, forensic analysis showed that at one point an archery picture of Paddon’s had been downloaded the same day as some of the child porn – a fact which the Crown said pointed to Paddon having control of the laptop that day.
The court heard the police raid occurred on October 31, 2019. Some of the images were downloaded as far back as November 2015, not only in Leven but also at a time when Paddon was living at a previous address in Thurso, Caithness, where he originally bought the laptop.
Briony said she feels “betrayed” by the justice system following the sentence handed to her dad.
“He literally just got a slap on the wrist,” she said, “I just felt the sentencing was really unfair.
“He doesn’t deserve to get away with this.
“My mother is my best friend and she has been my rock – I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for her.”
At Falkirk Sheriff Court, Sheriff William Gilchrist placed Paddon under social work supervision for three years, and on the sex offenders’ register for the same period.
He ordered him to attend supervision sessions, imposed a string of restrictions on his use of technology, and banned him from having contact with children under 16.
The sheriff said: “What you were convicted of would in normal circumstances require the court to consider a custodial sentence.
“I’m not going to do that in your case for a number of reasons.
“You’re effectively a first offender [and] your extremely serious medical condition would be a burden on the prison service.
“I’m satisfied that what your behaviour requires is intervention.”
Defence counsel Jonathan Crowe said Paddon suffered from “a plethora of medical difficulties” and that if he was jailed other prisoners might covet his medication.
Mr Crowe said: “I have a medical report prepared by his GP, confirming that Mr Paddon suffers from anxiety, depression, asthma, reflux, oesophagitis, chronic back pain, ischemic colitis and peripheral neuropathy.”