Man spied on girls in changing rooms at Glenrothes pool

Schickhofer filmed girls changing at the Michael Woods Sports and Leisure Centre.
Schickhofer filmed girls changing at the Michael Woods Sports and Leisure Centre.

A Glenrothes man spied on young girls in the changing rooms at the town’s swimming pool, secretly filming them on his mobile phone placed in a shoe and pushed into cubicles next to him.

Over a three-month period, Richard Schickhofer attended the leisure centre and recorded naked children as they changed.

A shocked 15-year-old girl spotted a camera pointing at her from on a shoe on the floor and kicked it away, leading to Schickhofer’s sick behaviour being exposed.

Police discovered videos of kids changing on seized mobile phones and a computer taken from his home.

Another girl, initially unidentified, was confirmed as being just 15 because a police officer, investigating the video evidence, knew her.

Schickhofer (24), of Muirfield Drive, admitted that on March 10 last year at Michael Woods Sports and Leisure Centre he operated equipment with the intention of observing a girl then aged 15, by placing his mobile phone in his shoe and placing them under a changing room partition to record her in a state of undress.

He also admitted that on numerous occasions between December 14, 2014 and March 10 last year at the same centre, he operated equipment with the intention of observing unidentified female adults and children by placing video according equipment under the changing room partition to film them in a state of undress.

Depute fiscal Claire Bremner told Dunfermline Sheriff Court that a girl had gone to the pool with a male friend at 6pm on March 10.

After swimming, she went into a cubicle to get changed.

“She locked the door and began drying herself. She was still in her swimsuit. She looked down and saw a dark coloured shoe,” continued Ms Bremner.

The shoe had been placed into her cubicle under the five-inch gap at the bottom of it and the girl saw a mobile phone was in it.

“She got a fright and kicked the shoe,” added the depute.

“She then heard the person in the cubicle next to her scrambling about.”

The girl told her friend what had happened and he also saw the mobile phone in the shoe.

Schickhofer opened the door of his cubicle fully dressed, stared at them for two to three seconds before taking his belongings, pulling up his hood and leaving.

“The complainer was shaken by what had happened and her friend consoled her,” said Ms Bremner.

They spoke to a lifeguard, who said he thought he may know the man’s identity and later helped police trace him.

The girl’s mum came to the sports centre and picked her up.

Police tracked down the accused later that night and he was detained.

Computer equipment was later taken from his home for examination along with two mobile phones which were seized from him.

Three videos were found, showing females changing and some victims are still unidentified.

One video file was dated December 14, 2014 and showed a girl drying herself in a cubicle. Her age was assessed as between 14 and 18 years.

A second video file was dated March 10, 2015, lasting 67 seconds and showed Schickhofer in a cubicle, adjusting a recording device and pushing it into a booth with two females, one an adult and the other a naked child aged 12-15 years.

Another video was on his mobile phone, lasting over nine minutes.

Again Schickhofer was seen adjusting the device and camouflaging it with an item of clothing.

He pushed the device back and forward into an empty cubicle, adjusting it.

A girl aged 15 then entered the cubicle, locked the door and removed her swimsuit.

Ms Bremner said the girl’s age could be confirmed as a police officer analysing the film knew her.

The court heard Schickhofer was originally from Austria but had lived in Glenrothes for several years.

Sheriff Charles MacNair called for reports and sentencing will take place on March 16.