Government lawyer escapes jail sentence for 'upskirting' on London Underground

Joe Gamp
Contributor, Yahoo News UK
The lawyer was handed a two-year community order at Westminster Magistrates court (PA)

A Government lawyer has been handed a 24-month community order in one of the first “upskirting” convictions in the UK.

Daren Timson-Hunt, 54, is one of four men who recently appeared in court charged with the offence since new laws were introduced in April.

Timson-Hunt last week admitted to one count of operating equipment beneath the clothing of another person without consent at Westminster Magistrates Court.

On Thursday, he escaped a prison sentence and was handed a two-year community order by a judge.

Timson-Hunt was sentenced after previously admitting to upskirting at Embankment Tube Station in central London (SWNS)

The lawyer, from Stanford Le Hope, Essex, is charged with using a mobile phone “for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification” at Embankment station in Central London on July 1.

Westminster Magistrates Court heard how the lawyer followed a woman who left a Northern Line train at the station.

He then waited at the bottom of a flight of stairs and waited until the woman climbed to the top of the steps before pulling his phone out.

“Upskirting” - of the filming or taking of photographs under girls’ and women’s clothes - became a crime in April under the Voyeurism (Offences) Act 2019.

Timson-Hunt admitted he used a mobile phone “for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification” at central London’s Embankment station (PA)

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said Timson-Hunt, 54, is one of four men to have been prosecuted under the law.

Another of the men - Salim Ahmed from Tottenham, north London - was handed a community order after he was caught filming women at the entrance to Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park.

After police searched his phone, they found 16 recordings taken under women’s skirts on his iPhone.

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He admitted to the offence at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on July 8.

Another man, - Michael Adjetey, 28, of Newham, east London - was caught on CCTV taking pictures of women’s buttocks at a branch of TK Maxx in Hackney, north London on July 16 and 17.

He later admitted that he had taken hundreds of “upskirt” photos at Thames Magistrates Court on July 31.

Timson-Hunt's conviction is one of the first under new laws introduced in April (PA)

He was sentenced to a two-year community order and was placed on the sex offenders register for five years.

A third man - Thomas Hetherington, 21, from Wakefield, West Yorkshire - was confronted and reported by his victim after he took a photo of her at a bus depot on July 23.

He admitted one count of recording an image under clothing without consent at Leeds District Magistrates' Court on August 13.

He was sentenced to a two-year community order and put on the sex offenders' register for five years.

Daren Timson-Hunt leaves Westminster Magistrates' Court in London, where he was handed a 24-month community order (PA)

CPS Prosecutor Siobhan Blake said: “Upskirting is a humiliating violation that leaves victims feeling degraded and distressed.

“It is really positive to see our prosecutors making use of the new legislation, with four men so far convicted of this repulsive offence.

“All of the victims were simply going about their business on public transport, shopping or attending events when they were opportunistically targeted.”

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