A sex addict caught taking photos up women's skirts in one of Auckland's oldest department stores got his last chance in court.

Peter Hooton, 58, appeared in Auckland District Court last week on two charges of attempting to make an intimate visual recording in Smith and Caughey's on Queen St and a count of offensive behaviour for similar offending.

Despite having served a prison term when convicted of like crimes in the past, Judge Grant Fraser said the best hope of protecting the community in the long run was to keep him out of jail this time.

He was swayed by information provided to the court about Hooton's work with counsellors and sessions he was attending up to twice a week with Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous.


His counsellor told the court the defendant was "beginning to walk the talk".

"He's still at risk, as is anyone with addiction but he's taking really positive steps to change those behaviours," he said.

Hooton was sentenced to eight months home detention and ordered to serve 100 hours community work.

The first offence came in May last year when Hooton was supposed to be undergoing a sentence of intensive supervision to address his deviant behaviour.

He was loitering by a checkout at Smith and Caughey's and security guards saw him kneel behind a female staff member and direct his cell phone up her skirt.

Not satisfied with that, Hooton spotted a woman in a short skirt and pursued her through the store too.

Again, security saw him squat down behind the victim and position his phone between her legs to take photos or video.

The second occasion - almost a year later - and the offensive behaviour charge, which came while awaiting sentence, had a "similarity of flavour" according to Judge Fraser.


He called it a "flagrant invasion of personal space" and said Hooton faced a lifetime of rehabilitation to ensure he did not relapse.

The judge made it clear that the opportunity he had given the defendant to turn his life around would not be repeated.

"Mr Hooton, you come back here again and clearly the tariff rises. There'll be no community-based sentence and you'll face a long period of imprisonment."