A dentist hid a ‘bogcam’ at his practice to film two colleagues changing into their nurses uniforms.
Warren Gater, 32, placed a video camera disguised as a pen in a bowl of Potpourri to capture footage of the girls in the staffroom and toilet.
He uploaded the film on to his computer to watch at home for his sexual kicks, the General Dental Council in central London heard.
Newly-wed Gater was finally rumbled by one of the nurses after she spotted him ‘acting strangely’ with his jacket and later discovered the hidden gadget.
He had been secretly filming the staffroom and toilet for several weeks and admitted filming the nurses at least ‘four or five times’.
Gater said the death of his father and organising his wedding at short notice in the six months leading up to the offence left him ‘distressed, emotionally numb’ and in need of a ‘distraction’.
The General Dental Council took pity on Gater and suspended him for just nine months.
Gater, of Oake Woods, Gillingham, Dorset, was convicted of voyeurism after pleading guilty to the offence at Weymouth Magistrates Court in March this year.
He was given a three year conditional discharge.
Nimi Bruce, for the GDC said: ‘On February 22 the GDC received notice from the police that Mr Gater had been arrested on February 12 over an allegation of voyeurism.
‘The allegation was made that he had set up a covert camera in his surgery with the intention of filming people performing private acts and the act that was described at that stage was of a female undressing.’
She told the hearing that two dental nurses in their early twenties worked at the practise where Gater had been an associate dentist for seven years.
Miss Bruce said the nurses – referred to as Miss A and Miss B – used to get changed in the staffroom or toilet, but ‘covered themselves with a high backed chair to protect their dignity’.
She said Gater had taken the pen-shaped video camera to the surgery after Christmas and hid it in three different places to film the girls changing in an out of their nurses uniforms.
She said: ‘He used a bookshelf overlooking the area where they got changed, a Potpourri bowl at the back of the toilet and inside his jacket pocket which was hung nearby.’
Miss Bruce said when the nurses discovered what had happened Miss A felt ‘disappointed, let down and violated’.
Miss B was ‘extremely angry’ and spoke of feeling ‘sick and hurt’.
Giving evidence Gater told the hearing he had bought the camera, which doubled as a USB memory stick, for use transferring large files.
He said: ‘I saw the James Bond style spy pen while I was looking for a USB stick online. It didn’t cost any more so I bought it. It was very cool.’
He told the committee that when his father had died in December 2008 it had marked the culmination of a difficult period in his life and he first took the camera into the surgery on January 15, 2010.
He said that there was no designated changing room at the surgery so the nurses regularly got changed in the staffroom often while others were in the room.
When asked why he had taken the spy pen into the surgery he said: ‘Initially it was just a case of ‘Can I play spy? Can I get the secret footage? Can I do it without getting caught?’
‘Then with the sort of footage I was getting it moved on a little bit further.’
He was then quizzed by the chair of the panel Stewart Goulding (corr) on how it had become sexual.
He replied: ‘Through viewing the footage the focus changed from being a technical thing. I am still struggling to come up with a reason as to why it deteriorated into such a state.’
Mr Goulding then asked: ‘Did you have sexual feelings when you saw the nurses changing [before the filming started]?
Gater answered: ‘No. The only thing I felt was awkward that they were doing it in front of me.’
Richard Partridge, for Gater, said: ‘This is totally an utterly out of character for this practitioner. He offers his profound apologies not only to the principal of the practise but to these dental nurses and knows that this behaviour was wholly unacceptable.
‘Mr Gater has lost his job, he has financially suffered and his marriage has gone through a very difficult period, but he remains committed to dentistry. It is what he always wanted to do and he had a promising career prior to this.’
Gater was suspended for 18 months and left the practise after his arrest.
He has not worked since.
The hearing was told he and his wife had visited a marriage counsellor, but remained together.
Gater, registered as of the Annexe, Spire Ridge Bath Road Midgham, Reading, Berks, told the panel he was still have one-to-pone counselling sessions.
The dentist was found guilty by the GDC of misconduct and suspended from the register for nine months.
Panel chairman Stewart Goulding told him: ‘Your actions were premeditated and repeated for your own sexual gratification and the committee considers that this is a gross breach of the trust placed in you as a dentist.
‘The committee has taken into all the considerable mitigating factors together with the fact that there were no clinical failings, the insight you have demonstrated, the fact you have expressed remorse and apologised for the effect this had on others and the fact that you were a well-qualified and practiced practitioner as evidenced by your testimonies.
‘These facts have led the committee to conclude that suspension from the register would be an appropriate sanction.’
Gater’s suspension will become effective 28 days after written notification is served.