A 58-year-old man has been caught trying to look up a group of schoolgirls' skirts with a camera hidden in a shopping basket.

Gary Hearn admitted he had been “doing it for years” when arrested at the main Tesco store in Hatfield having been seen acting suspiciously around five girls dressed in school uniform.

On a camera in Hearn's shopping basket officers found video clips filmed secretly from below up the skirts of women and young girls lasting several minutes.

Officers were viewing CCTV at the Great North Road store on an unrelated matter when Hearn was seen acting in a strange way in one of the aisles next to the five young school friends on Monday, November 24.

Hearn was arrested outside the shop and on his camera police found four indecent video clips.

The first clip lasting two minutes showed the view from the floor looking up a woman's skirt.

A second clip showed the camera had been positioned filming up the skirt of a woman with a baby pushing a shopping trolley.

The third clip showed Hearn's shopping basket being moved to film up the skirt of a young girl in school uniform. That clip lasted more than three minutes.

The final clip showed the user of the camera was following a group of young teenage girls and trying to look up their skirts. The end of the recording shows Hearn being confronted by police before his arrest.

Hearn, of Branch Road, Park Street, St Albans pleaded guilty to committing an act outraging public decency, at St Albans Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

On his arrest Hearn said: “This will ruin me. I just cannot help myself. I have been doing this for years.”

However, he refused to answer questions in police interview.

After the guilty plea prosecutor Tayo Hassan, asked magistrates to commit Hearn to the crown court for sentence due to the seriousness of the offence.

Magistrates agreed and Hearn was released on bail for sentence next month at St Albans Crown Court.