A MAN accused of admitting to being a sex addict who launched a covert surveillance operation above a woman's bed and shower has been cleared of voyeurism.

Northallerton Magistrates Court heard Andrew Braithwaite deny having a sexual motivation in secretly getting keys cut to the woman's house and bedroom before sneaking in to install a camera disguised as a cigarette lighter and sound equipment while she was at work.

Mr Braithwaite said he had hoped to create a revenge porn film with the spy devices at the Northallerton property, after being blackmailed over a video he had made of himself making lewd comments while lying naked on a bed, while wearing knickers on his face.

The 49-year-old keen badminton player, of Ebor Court, Northallerton told the court he also hoped to locate a copy of his self-made film that the woman had threatened to post on Facebook.

Kim Coley, prosecuting, said spy equipment that looked like a mobile phone had been spotted with a red light flashing by one of the woman's daughters as she stepped on to exercise equipment in the her bedroom on October 12, 2014.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said: "I was in shock, I started laughing, and I said can we find something else now?

"Then I saw a shoe box on top of the wardrobe, of which the lid was open a bit, with a thing that looked like a lighter showing."

She said after confronting Mr Braithwaite he had admitted to making "a big mistake", but the incident had devastated her, tearfully telling the court that she continued to feel like she was being constantly watched.

Mr Braithwaite denied being a sex addict and said he had lost 12 kilos in weight and been sleepless with worry after the woman told him she might publish his movie.

He said: "I was angry and frustrated. I couldn't live with that threat any more. I wouldn't have been able to live with my friends and family again, it was humiliating."

He said while police had found he had visited voyeurism websites focussing on fitting rooms and beaches, he had done so because he was bored.

Finding Mr Braithwaite not guilty, magistrate Edward Gale said focussing the spy equipment on the woman's bed had been an act of "exceptional stupidity".

He added: "We believe that action by you was to obtain inappropriate pictures of a private act for revenge and have taken the view they were not for sexual gratification."