A stepfather had secretly been filming his stepdaughter while she takes a bath for five years. The girl, now 19 years old, discovered it on the eve of her 18th birthday.
Lauren Brightwood was enjoying a bath on the eve of her 18th birthday when she saw something for the first time, a black object placed on the glass pane over the bathroom door.
What she found was the phone that her stepfather, Thomas Craig Lewis, had been using to secretly film her several times while she takes a bath.
What was appalling was that Lewis had been doing it for five years already or since Brightwood was only just 13 years old, according to a report on The Sun.
Unable to keep it to herself, Brightwood sent a text to her mother and asked her to go into the bathroom, where she explained what she found.
Lauren then faced her stepfather Lewis and asked him about the phone secretly mounted in her bathroom.
The stepfather did not admit it initially and made several nonsense excuses, such as he was checking on her because he thought that she was crying in the bath, stated a report by the Mirror.
It even came to the point that the stepfather claimed that it was a hoover and not a phone that Brightwood found.
It was not until Brightwood and her mom, Michelle, told the rest of the family and reported what happened to the police that Lewis admitted his dark deed.
Lewis got married to Michelle when Brightwood was still four years old.
Last month, Lewis submitted a guilty plea for two counts of voyeurism for incidents that happened between the years 2014 and 2018.
Lewis pleaded guilty before the Northampton Magistrates' Court in September and will hear sentencing at Northampton Crown Court this Friday, October 16.
One Northamptonshire Police, DC Andrea Taylor, said the case against the accused took a long-time to finish and admired Brightwood for not backing out despite the pressure.
Brightwood had admitted to suffering mental health problems because of what happened.
Taylor added that she hopes that her stepfather's guilty plea would allow Brightwood to move on with her life, a better one finally.
According to Taylor, she was happy with the conviction as the stepfather was predatory and had violated Brightwood's privacy.
She also said that she hopes Lewis would reflect on what he had done.
In an interview with WalesOnline, Brightwood, who now works for Northampton Bank, said she had anxiety attacks when she did not have them before. She experiences bouts of depression and has suicidal thoughts as well, as a result of what her stepfather did.
According to Brightwood, she has become more guarded when she is in a new house, needing to check if there are cameras around.
To say that she had felt betrayed by what Lewis did is an understatement.
The victim talked about how her step-dad took care of her, and how everything was normal until the discovery.
Michelle struggles as well with what happened and blames herself for it, Noted Metro.
This 19-year old girl's innocence is gone after what her stepfather did. It will take time, but things will resolve themselves.