VANCOUVER - The lawyer for a man who covertly recorded people using the washroom in his Vancouver restaurant says her client was driven more by the thrill of knowing people's secrets than by sexual impulses.
Maegan Richards asked a provincial court judge in Vancouver to impose a conditional discharge for Allan Bosomworth, who was the co-owner of Two Chefs and a Table restaurant where he hid a camera in the coed washroom in December 2012.
Richards told the man's sentencing hearing on Monday that a psychiatrist had assessed Bosomworth and found he was driven by a "strong motivation of the discovery of strangers' secrets and that resulted in a powerful excitement."
"There is no interest in observing people using the facilities. That wasn't what drove any of this," Richards said. "There was more (exhilaration) and curiosity about knowing if someone was using drugs in the bathroom or some people were actually bulimic. That's what piqued Mr. Bosomworth, not so much a sexual drive."
Bosomworth pleaded guilty in September to one count of secretly observing nudity in a private place.
Richards asked for a conditional discharge to avoid a criminal record for Bosomworth, 39. She said he has been seeing a counsellor, is tormented by shame and embarrassment and feels a "palpable" sense of remorse.
She added he began his life with "all odds against him," as he was born addicted to heroin and spent time in foster care.
Richards blamed the intense publicity around Bosomworth's case for his depression and unemployment. Shortly after the camera was discovered, he moved to the Okanagan to live with his father and found work at a restaurant, but was fired after his guilty plea in September.
"The swift kick of justice has (had) a very, very profound impact," she said.
Crown lawyer Ellen Leno asked for a one-year suspended sentence. She wants Bosomworth to report to a probation officer, to conduct 60 hours of community service and not be allowed to possess any device used for capturing recordings or video.
Leno also asked that the man not have any contact with Karl Gregg, his business partner who first discovered the camera while cleaning the washroom. Gregg took it home and found it contained five videos.
The videos were not shown in court. Leno said the clips were taken between Dec. 14 and 18 and showed men and women using a washroom, some in the restaurant and others in a different location. She said these individuals have not been identified.
The last clip showed Bosomworth placing the camera in the washroom and concealing it with crumpled paper towel, she said.
Leno said Gregg contacted a lawyer before reporting the matter to the police.
Gregg read a victim impact statement to the court in which he said he was "deeply distraught" after finding the camera and became antisocial and withdrawn. He said Bosomworth, his friend and business partner of 13 years, had been a "constant" in his life.
"I became very (distrustful) of anyone in my life, family and friends. I questioned everything and everyone I thought I knew," he said.
Gregg also said he had suffered significant financial losses because he and Bosomworth had owned two restaurants and a butcher shop together. Two Chefs and a Table, located in Vancouver's Gastown neighbourhood, is closed but the other businesses remain open.
Leno read briefly from a victim impact statement written by a former server who said she still feels anxious about using public restrooms.
A former server told The Canadian Press last year she was deeply upset when Gregg told her he had discovered the camera. The washroom was the only private place in the upscale eatery and was commonly used by staff to change.
"I honestly went into a bit of shock when he told me. I was just sickened. I'm pretty sure I was shaking. Trying not to cry,'' said the woman who didn't want to be identified.
Judge Harbans Dhillon is expected to sentence Bosomworth on Jan. 14.
— With files from Tyler Harbottle
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Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said the Crown asked for a conditional sentence.
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