A MALE cleaner from Sale was arrested by a woman police officer after she caught him peeking at her in a toilet cubicle at Greater Manchester Police headquarters in Newton Heath.
The acting inspector was left "shocked and embarrassed" by Cobie Buckley who for five months denied that he had done anything wrong.
But when he appeared at the city's magistrate’s court last week Buckley, of Goodwood Avenue, admitted a charge of voyeurism and was put on the sex offenders’ register for five years.
He was given a three year community order and told to pay the inspector £250 compensation at the rate of £5 a week out of his benefits.
Prosecutor Kerry Bell said Buckley was spotted by the inspector as he peeped under the door of the cubicle one afternoon in May.
With the help of a detective colleague who had been in another cubicle she arrested him before he could leave the female toilets.
Mrs Bell told the judge: "The victim noticed Buckley with his head under the door looking at her. She gasped and he removed his head".
"The victim was in complete shock and embarrassment. On leaving the cubicle she asked a colleague to come to her aid".
On being confronted about looking under the door Buckley claimed "I was just cleaning it".
Hours earlier the inspector had been in the same cubicle and realised there was no toilet paper.
She called for help and a roll of toilet paper was pushed under the door by someone wearing a clear latex glove. She realised it was a man's hand.
On emerging from the cubicle she saw a male cleaner nearby holding various cleaning products. She later recognised Buckley as the person in the toilets when she arrested him after the second incident.
Daniel Weed, defending, said Buckley's behaviour had been totally out of character.
"He originally denied the matter out of embarrassment and has since written a letter of apology to the officer," said Mr Weed.
Buckley who was later fired from his job with a contract cleaning firm, he will have to attend a sex offender’s programme.
Passing sentence, Judge Hadfield questioned Buckley's remorse after denying the offence for five months before pleading guilty on the day of trial.