A VILE voyeur who took secret sex shots of his unconscious wife after poisoning her with pills walked “free” from court.
Pervert Stephen Lee, 51, pleaded guilty to drugging his wife Candice and setting up a secret camera in their bedroom.
He used the spycam to take intimate shots of his wife of 17 years, after lacing her food with sleeping pills and anti-depressants then stripping her naked.
Despite his admission of guilt, Candice was stunned when her bullying hubby was only handed a 16-month suspended prison sentence after claiming he had given her the drugs for her own good.
She claims he lied to the court about his depraved crimes safe in the knowledge neither she nor their young daughter would be able to take the ordeal of testifying against him.
Candice, 51, from Newhaven, Derbs, is now taking on the legal system to have his sentence increased in the hope it will help others who suffer at the hands of abusive partners.
Speaking exclusively to The Sun, Candice said: “He took domestic abuse to a whole new level and the courts just let him walk free.
Former HGV driver Candice met tyre fitter Stephen through work and after dating they eventually married in October 2001.
Seven months later their daughter Rhona was born, but she says their marriage began to fall apart as mood swings left her feeling unsafe in their own home.
The couple split in 2016 after Candice asked to take a break in their relationship before deciding to give their marriage another try.
But matters took a sinister turn when over the Easter weekend in 2017, Candice suffered a seizure as the family drove down to Sussex.
She said: “I had been feeling really tired for a few days and as we drove along the sunlight was flickering through the trees. I had a fit in the car, I’d never suffered one before in my life.
“I didn’t know it but from that point on I was being drugged every weekend.
“I was always drowsy and falling asleep in the chair and Stephen would take me up to bed.”
Candice said her food would often taste bitter and she suspected she was being drugged, by hospital staff said without knowing what medication they were looking for they could not test for it.
PERV’S HIDDEN FOOTAGE
On September 16, 2017, after meeting with a friend she decided she couldn’t go on and walked into the police station in Matlock to report her suspicions.
This time officers believed her, handed her a crime number and told her to drive to Derby Royal Infirmary and demand they take some samples for testing.
A urine test revealed she had been absorbing anti-depressants and insomnia drugs without her knowledge for months.
When police searched the house they found a camera hidden in a stereo speaker in the couple’s bedroom. The device was connected to Stephen’s mobile phone.
Candice said: “When they turned up they found two packets of drugs in his pocket. There were also empty packets in his bedroom drawers.
“Then I found out through his bank statements he’d been buying the drugs online and having them delivered next door.”
When police examined the phone, the full horror of what had been taking place unfolded.
She said: “Then they showed me the pictures he’d taken of me.
I was disgusted, I had never posed for him for any pictures without my clothes on.
“There were loads of images of me naked, there were no pictures of us having sex just me naked and totally unaware of what was going on.
“I was disgusted, I had never posed for him for any pictures without my clothes on.”
On February 19 this year Stephen Lee walked out of Derby Crown Court after being handed a 16-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.
Candice, who did not feel strong enough to be in court, said: “His lawyer argued there was no evidence to prove I had been drugged before those pictures were taken.
“But my daughter’s witness statement said she saw her dad carry me up to bed unconscious on more than one occasion.”
Now she is lodging an appeal against what she believes was the “unduly light sentence” handed to her husband.
She claims her victim impact statement was not read out fully in court and insufficient weight was given to what she had to say about the crimes.
most read in news
Candice said: “This has opened my eyes as to way the justice system doesn’t work for the victims.
“Once the CPS had secured his guilty pleas they weren’t bothered about pushing for a custodial sentence, which I had been assured he would get.
“They could and should have made an example of him. All this talking about standing up to the victims of domestic abuse is just that, talk.”