Former policeman ﬁlmed Airbnb guests in shower with hidden cameras
Sydney Morning Herald
By Marty Sharpe
30 October 2018
A policeman turned prison officer who filmed women using the shower in
his Airbnb homestay in New Zealand, then uploaded the videos to a porn
site, has been sent to prison.
Tony Greathead, 36, was sentenced in Hastings District Court on
Tuesday, when a suppression order protecting his identity was also
Greathead presented himself as a good family man to his guests, but
filmed 34 women as they showered in the homestay in Hawke's Bay, on the
North Island's east coast, between December 2017 and his arrest in
February this year.
Most of Greathead's guests were women aged under 30. They could use the
shower or kitchen facilities in the house by arrangement, and he
usually organised the shower times with guests.
After arranging the time he would place one or two covert cameras,
disguised in shampoo bottles, in the bathroom and shower. He activated
the cameras by remote control.
After the guest had showered he would put the shampoo bottles away,
then he would stay up late at night retrieving the cameras and
downloading the videos onto his computer hard drive.
The shampoo bottles were positioned to record the guests' bodies
between their shoulders and knees, but faces were often visible when
they bent down.
The recordings also captured guests undressing and dressing.
He created a profile on a pornographic website, which describes itself
as "a moral free file host where anything legal is hosted forever" and
"where you can meet like-minded individuals".
In August he pleaded guilty to 51 charges of making an intimate visual
recording, seven charges of knowingly making an objectionable
publication, seven charges of knowingly distributing an objectionable
publication and four charges of publishing an intimate visual recording.
Eleven of the videos were put on a pornography website and shared worldwide. One had been viewed more than 7000 times.
Prior to coming to New Zealand with his family Greathead, a Kiwi, had been a police officer in England.
Before Judge Bridget Mackintosh on Tuesday Greathead's lawyer Matt
Phelps said the nature of the material published had not involved child
victims as other cases had.
He also noted Greathead's life, and his family's had been "turned on
its head" after his arrest, and he had subsequently undertaken
rehabilitation. He had no previous convictions.
He noted the early guilty plea and said a prison sentence of 3 to 4 years was appropriate.
Crown prosecutor Steve Manning said the filming was done for
Greathead's sexual gratification and quoted from the comments he made
on the footage posted online.
He said the images posted into "cyberspace" would be there forever and there was no way of knowing how many had been downloaded.
The women were objectified and ridiculed, Manning said, and the
offending was marked by the fact that he made the images, published
them and distributed them with his comments on them.
The victims were horrified by what had happened to them, Manning said.
He said Greathead had also caused harm to the homestay and Airbnb
industry in Hawke's Bay and had led some tourists to question what sort
of place New Zealand was.
Judge Mackintosh said it was Greathead's "intense addiction" to online pornography that led to the offending.
She said he obviously had "serious issues you have to address".
She said Greathead had traded on his good character as a family man,
prison officer and former police officer when offending and noted the
fact that he was now relying on that good character as a mitigating
factor at sentencing.
The victims were demeaned and degraded and the videos encouraged further distribution, she said.
Judge Mackintosh sentenced him to four years and four months in prison. The victims identities are suppressed.
Three victims appeared on four videos in which he described the victim
by race and occupation and urged viewers to leave positive comments to
encourage him to make more recordings.
On other videos he went a step further by adding commentary about the
victim's personal characteristics, the acts he would like them to
perform, and how he had violated their privacy without their knowledge.
He built trust with them by representing himself as a professional family man.
The victims had stayed at the house for between one night and two weeks.
Police sent seven of the recordings to the Office of Film and
Literature Classification, which said all were objectionable material
because they promoted and encouraged the criminal acts of making and
distributing intimate visual recordings "to such an extent and degree
that their availability is likely to be injurious to public good."
The office said the recordings "also degrade and demean their subjects
to a high extent and degree by exposing their subject's nudity and
making them identifiable, and for the derogatory comments about their
bodies which are strongly sexually objectifying".
Police found 219 recordings of 34 victims on the hard drive. The
recordings showed all the victims' genitals, breasts and buttocks. None
had been aware they were being filmed.
In victim impact statements supplied to the court they explain how they felt shocked, ashamed, angered and degraded.
Police were able to locate the victims with the assistance of Airbnb.
Police made Greathead remove the videos from the website and delete his account.
When arrested he told police there was no sexual element to his
offending and that he had "done it for the thrill and risk of being
An Airbnb spokesperson said the company had fully supported the police
investigation and victims and "we're pleased that justice has been
"We take privacy extremely seriously and there is no place in our community for this type of egregious behaviour," he said.
"Cameras are never allowed in bathrooms or bedrooms and any other camera must be disclosed ahead of time".
He said Greathead had been permanently banned from Airbnb.