An ex-government lawyer who used his mobile phone to take a photograph under a woman’s dress has been given a 24-month community order in one of the first convictions under a new law against upskirting.
Daren Timson-Hunt targeted a woman wearing a summery dress on the London Underground as she went for a job interview but the dad of one was spotted by a police officer hiding his phone between her legs and taking a photograph up the lady’s dress four or five times.
When Daren Timson-Hunt’s phone was examined, he was further found to have taken to videos of the woman. The 54-year-old, of Broadstone Road, Stanford Le Hope, Essex, England, admitted a charge of operating equipment underneath the clothes of another without permission on July 1 and was sentenced at Westminster Magistrate’s Court.
Prosecutor Katie Bryan informed the court that police inspector Pete Scottow spotted Daren Timson-Hunt as he took photographs on the carriage. The victim, Daren Timson-Hunt and the inspector got off the Tube at the Embankment, with the offender who was seen standing close behind the victim on the stairs.
Katie Bryan stated that Mr Scottow approached the victim, notifying her that he was an inspector of Scotland Yard, telling her that he thought a man had been taking photographs of her.
The inspector Mr Scottow then confronted a startled Daren Timson-Hunt about his activities and he was later arrested.
Ms Bryan also told the court that Daren Timson-Hunt had admitted what he’d done and said that he was sorry and that he didn’t know why he’d done it and that he’d never done anything like this before and was this something he could take a caution for?
Ms Bryan said on examination of Daren Timson-Hunt’s phone it showed two videos were taken of his victim and that the first, taken on the Tube, revealed that he had photographed up the victims dress and that you could see her undergarments and bare buttocks from underneath her dress.
The second showed Timson-Hunt had again attempted to film under the dress of the victim on the stairs and in a statement read out in the court, the victim said that she felt incredibly violated and that she found it extremely intrusive that he could do that to her and that it has left her feeling very annoyed and that it had made her lose focus for her interview.
But Nicholas Ornstin, mitigating, said that the life of this 54-year-old man had been totally destroyed by his actions on that day and he said that Timson-Hunt had no prior convictions and offered his complete and unequivocal apology to the victim in this matter.
Timson-Hunt was given a community order that will last for 24 months until September 25, 2021. The order comprises three conditions, the completion of a 35-day programme, 30 days rehabilitation activity and 60 hours of voluntary work.
Timson-Hunt was further ordered to join the Sex Offender’s Register for five years and must also pay £175 in court costs and a victim surcharge.
But it seems like courts don’t like sending their own to prison and it is astonishing that Timson-Hunt was not sent to jail, it merely confirms the job does apparently have privileges.
Well, that’s set a precedent, hasn’t it, no deterrent there whatsoever and we certainly wouldn’t want him living near us, particularly if he might have ideas of rifling through our undergarment drawer when he’s asked to dinner.
Perhaps he should take up a new hobby, go bird watching or something, that might stop his urges but at least he’s been named and shamed and will be ruined permanently and when you think about him upskirting, he has a wife for God’s sake.