A peeping Tom visited London's top tourist attractions and took "up-skirt" shots of young women, Southwark Crown Court was told yesterday.

Warren Richardson, 41 of Glenfield Road, Balham, set up his video camera in the middle of Trafalgar Square in the height of summer to capture unsuspecting females as they walked by.

He was even caught filming "intimate areas of a female person" outside the gates of Buckingham Palace without his victims even noticing, jurors were told.

advertisementRichardson first came to the attention of police when he was seen acting suspiciously in July 2004.

Prosecutor Wayne Cranston-Morris said: "It was about 3.30pm when officers on duty in Trafalgar Square saw this defendant using a video to film young women.

"Because of his behaviour the officers decided to approach him and he was arrested."

Richardson gave the police a fake name and was taken to the station for questioning.

The videotape was found to contain a number of "up-skirt shots" of different women.

"The video was being used to focus in and record intimate areas of the female person, and they wouldn't be aware of what the defendant was recording," Mr Cranston-Morris said.

During a police interview Richardson admitted filming women's buttocks and said he had done it before.

"He said he would take the videos home, view them and then tape over them."

Following his arrest, officers uncovered a seedy collection of child porn saved on CDs, DVDs and his computer hard drive at his home.

The indecent images were mainly of young girls, aged between 12 and 14, and showed girls being subjected to sickening sex acts by adult males and females, jurors were told.

One of the most disturbing images showed a naked pre-pubescent girl who "appeared to be being stabbed with a sword".

"Also seized during the course of that search was another video tape, containing material of similar up-skirt shots being taken by the defendant," said the prosecutor.

A total of 148 indecent images of children and 70 indecent movie clips were found.

Richardson was bailed pending further enquiries.

But just 11 months later, on June 27, 2005, he was back on the streets with his video camera taking more recordings of unsuspecting women, the court heard.

The prosecutor said: "He was seen using the video camera outside Buckingham Palace and due to his behaviour he was stopped by police.

"He tried to run away but was caught and arrested."

The videotape again contained numerous shots of women's backsides and knickers.

His house was searched for a second time, and 11 indecent "real images" were discovered as well as an obscene movie.

Internet records showed Richardson had also been visiting sites such as Lolitateen.com, said Mr Cranston-Morris.

But he refused to make any comment during the police interview and was charged for a second time.

Richardson denies 15 counts of possessing indecent images of children and two counts of outraging public decency.

The trial continues.