Robert Murphy, aged 51, of Lissanalta Grove, Dooradoyle, Limerick, placed an iPhone recording in video mode in a box of gloves with holes in it on the windowsill of the unisex toilet at the ambulance base in Tyone, Co Tipperary, on May 5 last year.
A complaint was made to gardaí after Murphy, described as a lead paramedic for the area, was confronted by a female colleague about the mobile phone recording.
Murphy deleted the file and asked that the matter be taken no further.
After his arrest, he admitted to gardaí that he owned the phone and had the device recording female members of staff in the toilet for his “own pleasure”.
The father of three pleaded guilty at Nenagh District Court to a charge of harassment of a female colleague.
Yesterday, at his sentencing hearing, Judge Elizabeth McGrath was told how Murphy, who had no previous convictions, has paid the injured party €5,000 in compensation, and has complied with the probation services.
Urging Judge McGrath not to record a criminal conviction against his client, solicitor Dan O’Gorman said Mr Murphy is facing “severe disciplinary action” from his employers.
Previously, the court heard how Murphy was still working for the HSE but was serving his employers in a “different area”.
“This man has saved lives in his time, has performed over and above the call of duty in the past and has put himself in the line of danger... If anyone in this country is owed something, it is him,” Mr O’Gorman said.
Mr O’Gorman argued that a conviction would have serious consequences for his client’s employment and did not see how a conviction would serve the citizens of Ireland.
He added that Murphy, who had been the subject of “public opprobrium”, was at low risk of reoffending according to probation reports, and is presently “under scrutiny by his employer”.
Evidence was also heard previously of Mr Murphy’s “very troubled and extraordinary history”, and how he moved to Ireland from California to live with relatives when he was eight years old after his mother was murdered.
His father was sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted of conspiracy to commit murder.
The court was also told of how Mr Murphy had become “distant and succumbed to the temptations that are on the internet” while his wife was receiving treatment for cancer.
Judge Elizabeth McGrath said the offence involved a breach of trust with his co-workers and that was a real difficulty.
However, she noted Murphy’s previous good record, his extremely traumatic childhood, the fact he had paid compensation, and the serious work he did as a paramedic.
Judge McGrath said she felt Murphy had gone as far as he could to make amends and the Probation Act was appropriate.