A MENTAL health nurse recorded men urinating in a public toilet at Cheshire Oaks because voices in his head told him to do it, a court heard.

Sam Chi-Sum Cheong, 49, admitted having 26 videos on his phone, all taken during a shopping trip to the Ellesmere Port retail park on June 23 last year.

But he denied the charge of voyeurism claiming that the footage was not ‘for the purpose of sexual gratification’.

During a trial at Chester Magistrates Court on Tuesday (November 26), Cheong said he had stopped taking his medication for psychotic depression as it made him impotent and he and his wife were trying to have a baby.

This allowed the voices – including that of his deceased father – back into his head telling him to go into the toilets and press buttons on his phone.

“It was like being hypnotised,” Cheong told the court. “They tell me to do different things and I just follow their demands. They say ‘if you don’t it will get you killed’.

“The voices were telling me ‘get your phone out, press the apps’. I didn’t know I’d recorded anyone.”

However, in the absence of any medical evidence explaining his actions or his loss of memory about the incident magistrates found him guilty of voyeurism.

Outlining the case, prosecutor Adam Warner said two young men had “caught Cheong at it” at the toilets near Pizza Express at Cheshire Oaks last summer.

After alerting security, they confronted the defendant who tried to run away but was swiftly caught and taken into a side room.

Cheong then reportedly started screaming and tried to bite one of the men as they tried to take his phone off him, concerned he may attempt to delete the footage.

He was arrested and interviewed, during which he appeared to speak to people “not present” in the room, including his late father.

He explained he had been diagnosed with psychotic depression after his dad died in 2017 but had not taken his medication for the past 10 days. He and his wife were trying for a baby as it was considered shameful not to have children in Chinese culture.

Cheong told officers he only had a “brief memory” of what happened at Cheshire Oaks but after viewing the videos on his phone said he found them “disgusting”.

“He said ‘why would I want to look at other men’s penises when I have my own penis to look at?’,” Mr Warner told the court.

A mental health professional undertook an assessment but Cheong was deemed fit to be interviewed and detained.

His defence team also commissioned a report from a consultant psychiatrist which found that his mental health issues could not explain his actions or his apparent memory loss.

Giving evidence in court, Cheong said he was a heterosexual man who deeply loved his wife of nine years.

Asked by Mr Warner how he would feel if someone had filmed him urinating, he said: “I would feel so angry if someone did that to me.

“I’m a professional [mental health nurse]. I know about protecting people’s privacy.

“I was shocked [to see the videos]. I’ve got no intention of filming other people. I know it’s illegal.

“On that day the voices were so demanding, telling me what to do. It was like I was hypnotised.”

Richard Sibeon, defending, stressed his client was a man of good character and that police had trawled his laptop and other devices but found nothing apart from the 26 videos recorded on a single day.

The court also heard that Cheong had been the victim of a gang attack in 2005 which left him with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). He also spent many years travelling to and from Hong Kong to care for his father when he was suffering with cancer.

“There is no suggestion of a pattern or interest in this sort of offence,” Mr Sibeon added.

However, magistrates found the testimonies of the two young men credible while Cheong’s account was “selective in what you claim to remember”.

Finding him guilty, they adjourned the case until January while a pre-sentence report is prepared by the Probation Service. In the meantime, he was released on unconditional bail.

Cheong, of Barnhurst Close in Liverpool, has been on sick leave since the offence and will likely lose his job as a result of the conviction, the court heard.