A man accused of illegally recording a private activity was not able to attend court on Thursday as he was having a “panic attack”. Craig Maxwell Simpson, 49, is charged with using an optical surveillance device to record a private activity, an incident which is alleged to have occurred in Mt Tarcoola on November 16. Defence lawyer Veronica Randall told Geraldton Magistrates Court Mr Maxwell was “having a panic attack” outside the courthouse and would not be able to appear. She said his anxiety was due to the fact he had been convicted on a similar charge in the past. Magistrate Chris Miocevich in February fined Mr Maxwell $500 after he admitted to hiding a video recording device in a relative’s home. The court was told no one was observed on the recording, which Mr Maxwell said he had set up to catch his nephew who he suspected was “sniffing petrol”. The facts of the new allegations were not presented in court and the nature of the recordings are unknown. He will appear in the same court on January 6.