Eddie Catz founder secretly filmed schoolgirls at swimming pool

Married Eddie Catz founder, 51, was caught with cache of 700 secretly taken pictures of women and children after he filmed schoolgirls changing at public swimming pool

  • Darren Johnson was seen on CCTV following girls at a London swimming pool
  • After he was caught filming them, police uncovered haul of photos on computer
  • He had also been filming women at soft play area and firm’s own staff members
  • The 51-year-old is due to be sentenced for voyeurism at a court tomorrow 

Darren Johnson, the founder of children’s soft play firm Eddie Catz, recorded schoolgirls under the partition of a swimming pool changing rooms

The married founder of a children’s soft play area firm was caught filming schoolgirls getting changing at his local swimming pool.

CCTV captured Eddie Catz founder Darren Johnson, 51, following two 14-year-old girls from a swimming pool and entering the cubicle next to theirs before filming them change by poking his mobile phone underneath a partition.

When the company director was arrested, police found hundreds of photos of women’s exposed breasts, using two ‘peepholes’ at a public toilet at one of his company’s sites.

The court heard he took more than 700 indecent cover images of women and children in total and filmed women changing at the leisure centre, using public toilets at an Eddie Catz centre, and of his female employees at his company’s private changing rooms.

The father-of-two appeared for sentencing at Kingston Crown Court today after pleading guilty to five counts of voyeurism in July.

Lauren Sales, prosecuting, said one incident took place at Putney Leisure Centre in June last year, adding: ‘It was on that occasion that two 14-year-old girls he attended their school swimming clubs.

‘Mr Johnson, as outlined on the CCTV with the description from the officers, is seen walking around the changing facilities. He goes to the swimming pool, he walks around the centre with no particular purpose, he sees the girls and follows those girls. There’s also a 12-year-old girl, she’s not subject to any count on our indictment.’

He will find out tomorrow whether he faces jail after admitting voyerism at a previous hearing

The prosecutor added: ‘They enter a cubicle together and he purposely enters the cubicle next to theirs. The two girls were undressing after swimming club and they saw a iPhone6 which they have identified pointing to them from the adjacent cubicle.

‘Mr Johnson was later identified by staff on the CCTV.

‘Police attended his home address, and computers were seized. All the images on our counts were located on these computers.’

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The court heard 150 files of photos taken at Putney Leisure Centre were found on one of his computers but these could only be a fraction of the indecent covert images he didn’t delete.

The court also heard how he drilled holes into two public toilets to take indecent photos of women at an Eddie Catz site in Earlsfield, south London.

She said he took images of women at a third toilet at the site by poking his mobile phone underneath partitions between cubicles.

Police found 150 files of photos taken at Putney Leisure Centre on Johnson’s computer

Johnson, of Putney, south-west London, also pleaded guilty to taking indecent images of his employees at a private changing room from January 1 2005 to February 8 2012.

His defence barrister Tom Williams entered a ‘basis of plea’ saying: ‘One part of the basis is to make it clear that the conduct in question took place over a few months in 2007.’

The prosecutor said the images could only be dated by the women’s uniforms.

Mr Williams said Johnson had an alcohol problem and had an argument with his wife and was drunk when he filmed the girls at the leisure centre.

He added: ‘Since his arrest he has tried to do what he can to turn things around, despite depressions and some suicidal periods. This is somebody who does recognise that he has had a serious issue.

‘He and his wife have two children, both of them had to receive therapy since all of this came out.’

He also took secret pictures of women at a toilet in the Eddie Katz centre in Earlsfield

Johnson, who has children aged 18 and 20, resigned as director of Eddie Catz last September after the allegations came to light. His wife Maria Johnson, 51, is still a director at Eddie Catz.

Judge Andrew Campbell bailed Johnson ahead of his sentencing tomorrow.

Earlier this year, a spokesman for Eddie Catz said: ‘Eddie Catz severed all ties with Darren Johnson more than one year ago,’ the spokesman said.

‘Mr Johnson is no longer a shareholder or director of the firm. He has no association with business.’

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