A magistrate has rubbished a Border man's claims a hidden camera he installed in his teenage step-daughter's bedroom was not for his own sexual gratification.
The man, who cannot be identified, pleaded guilty to the charge of install or use an optical device to interfere without consent.
But he argued, through defence lawyer Jason Hanke, that the device was purely to monitor the then 15-year-old's mental health.
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The offending took place while the man lived with the victim's mother, who supported him in court, in the Shoalhaven area on the NSW south coast.
He was made to move out when the camera was discovered.
Mr Hanke told magistrate Richard Funston in Albury Local Court this week that no evidence of offending files was found by police when his client's various electronic devices were analysed.
But police prosecutor Sergeant Nicole Peacock said the man had the secret camera set-up to download to his mobile phone.
When he became aware that police were on their way to his house, she said, he used his iPad to remotely delete files from his phone.
"There is no material in relation to any mental health issues in the victim before you," she said.
Mr Funston said he simply did not believe there was nothing of a "sexual nature going on in this matter. You have been given very difficult instructions (Mr Hanke)."
He jailed the man for nine months, to be served by way of an intensive corrections order with the condition he undertake a thorough sex offender assessment.
He was also placed on the NSW Child Protection Register.
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