A Fijian home-stay student stole his host's underwear and secretly filmed her in the bathroom at least 40 times, a court has heard.

When police arrested 23-year-old Josevata Hamilton Turagakula Raikoti they seized his cellphone to collect evidence of the offending.

But they found something wholly unexpected, the Dunedin District Court heard yesterday.

Analysts at the electronic crime laboratory found a downloaded file on the Nokia device labelled "In Christchurch Mosque".

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The video showed real-time footage of the massacre from March 15 last year.

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When questioned about it, Raikoti said it had automatically been downloaded after he clicked on a link, and he had "only watched it two or three times".

The defendant, the court heard, had been staying with a Dunedin family for the last four years.

"[The victim] had gone out of her way to make sure you felt like part of her family while staying away from your own home," Judge Phillips said.

Early last year, Raikoti imported several covert cameras from an unknown website.

He claimed the first time he had used them in the bathroom had been an "accident" but the judge totally rejected that proposition.

Once Raikoti had filmed his host it did not stop.

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"It became, you say, an addiction," Judge Phillips said.

Raikoti would tape the camera to the inside of a bucket which he would then hide in a cupboard and point at the shower.

The device would record for an hour, he would then retrieve it and download the footage to his cellphone.

The defendant admitted to police he had repeated that method more than 40 times.

Also, the violation of the woman's privacy did not end there.

Between February and May last year, Raikoti stole at least five pairs of the victim's underwear.

He admitted it was all done for his sexual gratification.

In a statement to the court, the victim described the sense of "absolute betrayal and disgust" she felt.

"She no longer feels safe in her own home," the judge said.

The woman was concerned the secret filming had also captured her children or had been put on the internet.

Forensic analysis showed it had not.

Raikoti was jailed for 15 months and ordered to pay $200 for the soiled underwear.

Judge Phillips said that he was subject to a deportation order, so would either be returned to Fiji immediately or once his sentence had expired.