Australia police
Police arrested Moorhouse outside his home in Sydney on 22 March - Representational Image Reuters

A 40-year-old man has been sentenced to 20 months in prison for secretly filming more than 200 people including children in public toilets around Sydney.

Benjamin Moorhouse filmed the victims for his own "sexual gratification", 9 News, a local news website reported after he was sentenced on Monday, 11 September.

He was caught after a man spotted the hidden recording device attached to a sink inside a unisex toilet at North Sydney on 10 February.

A second hidden camera was found by cleaning staff in a unisex toilet at Parramatta station on 14 February.

CCTV and Opal Card data helped police detain Moorhouse, who commuted daily from Parramatta to North Sydney where he worked at property management company Brookfield.

Bank records also showed Moorhouse purchased identical cameras, which were later found to be the ones discovered in the toilets.

Police went to Moorhouse's home in Sydney with a search warrant and arrested him on 22 March. Police records state that when Moorhouse was questioned, he said, "I know what you're talking about. It's my camera. I've put them inside the bathrooms at the station. I know it's an offence."

Almost 100 people were filmed at a Parramatta train station toilet between 13 and 14 February, police have established. Around 23 people were filmed at a North Sydney bathroom on 10 February. About 100 people were also filmed at the Westfield Parramatta disabled toilet between 17 and 20 March.

Moorhouse, a senior manager at Brookfield and a father of two, argued for a lesser sentence in his court hearing. He was said to be affected by his wife's disloyalty at the time of the offence and his behaviour was a part of his disadvantaged upbringing, the court heard.

"There is a planning and sophistication, we don't shy away from that, but it wasn't for profit, it wasn't part of a syndicate and there was no dissemination," Moorhouse's lawyer Osman Samin said.

"He had no intention to film children. He deleted it. It was of no interest to him."

When police arrested Moorhouse, he told the officers, "If people knew they'd be disgusted. I need help," Samin told the court.

"Every single person in the community that has used those public restrooms don't know if they've fallen victim or not," senior police prosecutor Rob Hough told the court. "Members of the community are rightly outraged," he added.

The magistrate, Mark Richardson, said that Moorhouse's actions were a "gross invasion of privacy".

"The equipment is purchased. It's planned, a totally intended act. It is totally reprehensible criminal conduct."

In May, Moorhouse pleaded guilty to seven charges, including three counts of filming a person in a private act, three counts of installing a filming device and one count of producing child abuse material.

Moorhouse will now be assessed for an intensive corrections order and be presented to the Parramatta Local Court on 21 November.