Man who secretly filmed women in toilets walks free

A MAN who filmed up womens’ skirts and hid his phone in change rooms and toilets at a Gold Coast shopping centre, has got off with a suspended sentence.

Eric Serges Luna Balanay was arrested in June for sneaking his iPhone under doors at Harbour Town, before it was revealed, he had also hidden a camera at his former workplace.

As part of investigations into the shopping centre incidents, police found the 31-year-old had 70 secret videos on his computer.


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52 of the incidents were recorded at a children’s autism foundation where he worked as a behavioural therapist.

Balanay, who moved from the Philippines to Australia about two years ago, was today handed a 6-month suspended sentence and 2 years probation.

It comes a day after a man was sentenced to three years behind bars for threatening a staff member at Harbour Town Florist with a syringe full of blood.

Matthew Jonathan Vaughan pleaded guilty to attempted robbery while armed, failing to take reasonable care with a syringe and stealing in the Southport District Court on Thursday.

In March this year, just one month after being released from custody on another matter, the 42-year-old ‘ice’ user pulled out the needle and told the shopkeeper he had “a needle infected with hepatitis” as he demanded money.

He ended up leaving empty handed when told there was no cash in the shop.

The worker wasn’t injured and he was found a short time later.

In sentencing, 66 days Vaughan has spent in custody was declared as time already served, with him to be eligible for parole in June 2019.

Since graduating from University in 2003, Rachel has worked in radio in a variety of roles including announcer, journalist and copywriter. The crazy world of radio has taken her from her hometown of Toowoomba to Wollongong, Sydney, Brisbane and finally the Gold Coast when in 2009 she started writing and presenting news with Hot Tomato and myGC.com.au.

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