5 February 2023

Techie accessed woman's intimate photos on her laptop during battery replacement

| Albert McKnight
Man in suit leaving court

Robert James John Morgan Williams, 29, leaves court after his sentencing on Tuesday. Photo: Albert McKnight.

A woman whose private photos were accessed by a computer technician after she took her laptop to him to get a battery replaced says his actions left her feeling “sick in [her] stomach”.

Even though Robert James John Morgan Williams admitted invading her privacy, he still remains employed at the same business she had taken her computer to.

After she dropped it off in October 2021, he called her to ask for her password to assist with inserting the battery.

She later collected it and took it home, but when her partner was reviewing it he found several items in its recycling bin application.

These were six intimate photos of the woman when she was partially naked.

Williams had found the photos by accessing the personal message inbox between the woman and her partner on her Facebook account.

READ ALSO Former police officer and twin brother launch appeal against convictions for secretly filming female tenants

The woman rang Williams’ employer and told the store owner what happened. But, she claimed in the ACT Magistrates Court when Williams was sentenced on Tuesday (31 January), the owner replied, “Rob wouldn’t do that, he’s a family man”.

Magistrate Robert Cook remarked that the owner’s response to her had been “entirely inappropriate”.

The woman was in the courtroom in person to read a statement about the impact of the crime, during which she asked, “How can this seem normal to anyone in the shop?”

“I’m disgusted that someone would do this,” she said.

She said she wanted to carry on with her complaint against Williams so she could maybe stop others from being abused in the future.

Prosecutor David Swan said Williams had accessed the images twice and had failed to cover his tracks by removing the items from the laptop’s recycling bin.

He argued it was a “profound breach of trust” and the inescapable inference was that it was done for sexual gratification.

Legal Aid’s Sam Lynch, appearing for the married father-of-one, said there was no evidence to suggest it was anything other than an opportunistic and isolated offence.

READ ALSO Woman ‘humiliated’ by cybersecurity expert who used spycam to film her

He said the incident had caused a strain in the 29-year-old’s relationship with his family, but he was “quite lucky” that he still had his job.

Magistrate Cook told Williams that what he had done was “invade someone’s personal life”. The impact his offending had on the woman was a “heavy burden to pay for something that you have done”, the magistrate told him.

“You had one job to do to replace a battery, but you took it further,” Magistrate Cook said.

Williams pleaded guilty to a charge of capturing visual data of another person.

He was convicted and sentenced to a 12-month good behaviour order and must perform 100 hours of community service.

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.