A sports coach who admitted to using a spy camera to watch women in their changing rooms has been fired from the childcare centre where he worked and has also been suspended from coaching volleyball.

The 43-year-old peeping Tom cannot be named by court order, to prevent the identification of his victims, whose privacy was severely breached, the Times of Malta has learnt.

Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit handed the man a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and also ordered that he undergo psychiatric treatment to treat his addiction.

A lawyer representing the childcare centre where the man used to work told the Times of Malta that it first suspended and later, upon his conviction, sacked the man from his job.

Even the Malta Volleyball Association took action immediately and suspended him from all coaching duties.

Association president Jesmond Saliba said when contacted yesterday: “The person was immediately suspended from any activity connected to the sport, pending the final decision of statutory disciplinary proceedings.”

It emerged in court that the man had installed a small spy camera in his team’s changing rooms and tried to see more skin by persuading some of the team to try on a new braless sports top.

The man’s 17 victims, who are all young women aged between 23 and 28 years old, were not aware that they were being filmed and reported the matter as soon as they discovered the camera, which had been placed on a small ledge in the changing room.

Sources said the man had also used a similar spy camera to film a colleague at the childcare centre where he worked.

Other sources having legal expertise said that the man had been convicted of harassment and stalking – and not of any crime of a sexual nature.

Moreover, the voyeur’s victims were not minors, and his name will not be added to the register of sex offenders. This, the sources said, had “put everyone in the same basket” and also implicated those sports coaches who had nothing to do with the case.

“The ban is good because it protects the victims, but on the other hand, it has affected all those 43-year-old sports coaches in Malta and even all the childcare centres in Malta.

“A ban on the publication of names is always a double-edged sword,” one lawyer said.