Millfield Driving Instructor guilty of filming woman in leisure centre cubicle

A Sunderland driving Instructor has been jailed after committing voyeurism against a woman in a changing cubicle, filming her with his mobile phone.

Derek Donaldson, 49, is believed to have activated its camera function to peer above head height into an adjoining unit at a leisure centre.

The married dad, of Croft Avenue, Millfield, was spotted by his shocked victim as she stood naked after a morning swim.

After covering herself with a towel, she raised the alarm by banging on his cubicle’s door, which alerted pool users and staff to her plight, South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard.

Donaldson denied the allegation but was found guilty after a trial in which the woman was forced to give evidence, which she bravely did facing him in open court.

But in a later interview with the Probation Service, he confessed to deliberately committing the offence as a warped way to deal with a family issue.


Disgraced driving instructor Derek Donaldson, 49, is believed to have activated its camera function to peer above head height into an adjoining unit at a leisure centre.

The cannabis-user married dad, of Croft Avenue, Millfield, was spotted by his shocked victim as she stood naked after a morning swim.

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After covering herself with a towel, she raised the alarm by banging on his cubicle’s door, which alerted pool users and staff to her plight, South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard.


Derek Donaldson.
Derek Donaldson.
Donaldson denied the allegation but was found guilty after a trial in which the woman was forced to give evidence, which she bravely did facing him in open court.

But in a later interview with the Probation Service, he confessed to deliberately committing the offence as a warped way to deal with a family issue.

Sentencing Donaldson, District Judge Zoe Passfield told him he had shown “no remorse, no victim empathy” – and jailed him for 18 weeks and placed him on the sex offenders register for seven years.

At the hearing, the woman addressed the court to reveal his actions had “hurt beyond measure” and left her with “crippling” daily challenges around trust.

Standing to read a prepared statement, she said: “Since this experience, I look at each man with suspicion.

“I now look for threats, thinking, ‘How can I keep myself safe, are you a predator, are you going to take something from me?’

“The image of his phone creeping over the cubicle won’t leave my mind. Now I’m scared of being alone and dread my partner going out.

“I used to think my body was strong and empowered. Now, when I see my body, I feel shame.

“I replay that day in my head and think, ‘Why was I chosen, what did I do wrong’?”