The fiancée of a man who was convicted of trying to secretly record his future mother-in-law taking a bath has insisted she is standing by her man. Nicole Mageean, 20, from Portaferry, Northern Ireland, says that she still intends to marry Thomas Edgar, 19, and believed that he meant to record her, something she said she would have consented to. On Thursday, Edgar walked out of Newtownards Magistrates' Court with two years' probation and an order to sign the sex offenders' register for five years. The victim, Nicole's mother, said the ordeal was like an episode of the Jerry Springer Show and had put an enormous strain on her family and her relationship with her daughter.
She added that the "door is always open" to Nicole if she decided to end the relationship.
The court heard on Thursday that while Nicole's mother was at home on November 21, she spotted Edgar's mobile phone hidden in a slipper when she went to use the toilet. She noticed it was "glowing", picked it up and saw it was set to record.
Concerned, she left to get advice from friends. When she returned, she told Edgar and her daughter she was going for a bath. Edgar was said to have become agitated and asked to the toilet. When she returned, "his iPad was against the wall".
After he was arrested, he told the police that he was trying to record his girlfriend as a "practical joke", rather than something more sinister.
Judge Hamill said the trial had been a "ludicrous contest from start to finish" and called Edgar's version of events a "fairy story."
Nicole said: "If he was a bad a person I wouldn't be with him or engaged. I was there the night everything happened, so I know.
The night that everything kicked off, mum just came into me and just told me. She brought me down to the bedroom with Thomas sitting on the bed and he was near enough in tears. He told me that he tried to do something stupid."
She said that the couple had consented to film each other in private before.
"We did stuff like this all the time," she explained. "We've done this a couple of times."
Asked how she would react if Edgar had recorded her in the bathroom without her knowledge, Nicole replied: "That would have been fine from my point of view. But he wouldn't have been doing it to random people in my house."
Asked again if he had been reckless with others in the house she replied: "No, I don't think that at all."
Nicole added that staying with Thomas was not hard, despite his conviction.
"No, it wasn't difficult - there was never a question," she explained "My friends are all sticking by me 100%. They've got my back because they know him and that he would never do such a thing."
She also admitted that she could see no way at present to reconnect with her now estranged family.
Nicole's mother said she could not believe the situation. "Where do I start?" she said. My daughter comes from a good home. She has a ticket to university, a future.
He (Thomas) admitted everything. My daughter knows the truth, and she has heard it from him."
She also told how Thomas "slipped up" in court because when asked if Nicole knew about the video, he allegedly replied, "No, she would have cracked up".
Nicole's mum admitted she hoped to reconnect with her daughter, but only "if she was to admit what was going on and leave that family - she knows that my door is always open".
"How she can even stomach being in the same room as him?" she asked. "It's like Jerry Springer. I can't move on because that's my daughter, not till I save her."