A middle-aged Canberra man who downloaded a massive trove of child abuse material from the internet also used a hidden camera to spy on women in bathrooms.
Geoffrey Robert Appleby, 44, appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court on Thursday and pleaded guilty to 15 charges of capturing indecent visual data in an invasion of privacy.
A summary of a statement of facts tendered to the court reveals that Appleby downloaded 2880 video files and 651 images from a website called "Mega" over two days in October 2019.
Police subsequently raided Appleby's home in August this year as part of Operation Molto, a nationwide criminal investigation that had resulted in 44 Australian men being charged with 350 child exploitation offences as of late last month.
During a search of Appleby's laptop, officers found the objectionable material.
"Police reviewed 739 of these videos and 261 of these images and identified them to be child abuse material, before ceasing review of the files," the facts say.
Investigators also took Appleby's mobile phone and discovered a further 650 child abuse material files saved in a secure folder.
Upon further examination of both devices, officers found that they also contained videos and pictures of women using two different bathrooms.
In the case of one bathroom, Appleby had captured illegal footage using "a hidden camera within an electronic clock angled towards the toilet and shower".
With the 44-year-old having now pleaded guilty to all of the 18 charges laid against him, Magistrate Louise Taylor committed Appleby to the ACT Supreme Court for sentence.
A sentencing date could be fixed as soon as next Thursday, when he has been listed to appear in the superior court for the first time.
Appleby remains behind bars on remand ahead of that date, having never applied for bail since his arrest three months ago.