A BARRISTER yelled “leave me alone” as he avoided jail today after becoming one of the first people convicted for upskirting in Britain.
Perv Daren Timson-Hunt, 54, hid his mobile under his right leg so he could take pictures up a woman’s summer dress on a packed Tube train.
The married dad-of-one claimed it was a “one-off” after the victim alerted police – but officers found a string of similar images on his phone.
Timson-Hunt today yelled at snappers to “leave me alone” as arrived at Westminster Magistrates’ Court charged with operating equipment beneath her clothing without consent under the Voyeurism (Offences) Act 2019.
He admitted taking the picture “for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification” but avoided a jail sentence.
The barrister was instead ordered to be put on the sex offenders register for five years and to pay a court fine of £85 and victim surcharge of £90.
‘I DON’T KNOW WHY I DID IT’
JPs heard how the woman was travelling to a job interview on the Circle Line at around 9.25am on July 1 when Timson-Hunt sat next to her and started take pictures up her skirt.
He then followed the victim up the stairs at Embankment station and took another snap – bringing the total number of photos and a video to 32.
The fiend was confronted by a police officer and admitted he had been taking pictures of the woman.
After begging to be let off with a caution, he told the officer: “I’ve never done anything like this before. I don’t know why I did it.”
But the court was told officers found a similar upskirting video filmed the month before after his phone was seized.
‘I FELT INCREDIBLY VIOLATED’
The victim told the court how she has been too afraid to wear a dress or skirt since the horror in an emotional victim impact statement.
She added: “I had just arrived from Sydney three weeks before. After being told what happened, I felt incredibly violated.
“I’m hesitant of using public transport and find myself questioning the people around me and where they’re holding their phones.
“I was stalked by the male and my personal space has been violated.”
What is upskirting?
Upskirting is the act of taking a photograph of underneath a person’s skirt without their consent.
It is often performed in a public place such as on public transport or on an escalator, with crowds of people making it harder to spot people taking these photos.
The long-awaited law against “upskirting” came into force on April 12, 2019, in England and Wales – it was already a criminal offence in Scotland.
If you catch somebody doing it the perpetrator can be arrested under the new offence, and face up to two years if convicted.
In extreme cases, upskirters can be put on the Sex Offenders Register.
Nicholas Ornstin, defending, said Timson-Hunt has been “destroyed” by the “moment of madness”.
He has also resigned from his post as director of a primary school and has been struggling to find a job since the incident.
Mr Ornstin added: “This has also been very hard on his wife and his 10-year-old son. Their marriage is on the rocks.”
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The new law was introduced on April 12 under the Voyeurism Act as previously there was no legislation for the offence of upskirting.
Siwan Hayward, Director of Compliance and Policing at Transport for London, said: “Upskirting is a predatory crime and we are determined to rid the transport network of this vile offence.
“We will continue to work closely with the police using this new legislation to push for the strongest charges for offenders.”