A BRITISH police helicopter crew filmed people having sex and sunbathing naked using a powerful video camera, a UK court has heard.
Prosecutor Richard Wright told Sheffield Crown Court that five men - including three police men and two pilots - filmed people in the "cross hairs" of the police camera usually used for capturing criminals and monitoring traffic.
"They used the unique viewing position afforded to them, together with the powerful video camera with which the helicopter is equipped, to (film) members of the public engaged in private activities in a gross violation of their privacy," he told the court.
"On three separate occasions they filmed a total of five people sunbathing naked in private and, on another occasion, they filmed a couple having sexual intercourse in their own garden."
He said the public had a right to hope police helicopters are being used to keep communities safe, not to film sex acts from the air.
The men are alleged to have flown over the top of a couple having sex on the patio of their home who at one point waved to the camera during a graphic eight-minute film that was shown to the jury as evidence.
The court heard how the couple were known to "sex obsessed" policeman Adrian Pogmore, 51, from the local swinging scene.
Pogmore has pleaded guilty to misconduct in a public office. The four men on trial, including, Matthew Lucas, 42, Lee Walls, 47, Matthew Loosemore, 45, and Malcolm Reeves, 64 all deny the same offence.
The court also heard how members of the group - which allegedly operated at different times - zoomed in on a naturist couple sitting outside their caravan in a nudist camp in South Yorkshire.
They are also accused of spying on a woman sunbathing naked in her private garden with three daughters, aged 8, 15, and 18.
"Although naturists expect to be seen naked by other naturists, they do not expect to be monitored by the crew of a police helicopter," Wright said, describing it as a "gross waste" of a valuable resource.
The court heard there was "no legitimate reason" for the cops to be filming them and "no basis" for flying over people's homes.
The trial is expected to last three weeks.