On the 12th April 2019, the offence commonly known as ‘Upskirting’ became a criminal offence by virtue of the Voyeurism Act 2019 (‘the Act’).
Helen Holder of Kangs Solicitors comments generally.
The Law | Kangs Solicitors Sexual Offences Advisory Team
The Act provides that a person commits an offence if he:
- operates equipment beneath the clothing of another person,
- with the intention of enabling himself, or another person to observe:
- the victim’s genitals or buttocks (whether covered with underwear or exposed) or
- the underwear covering the victim’s genitals or buttocks
- in circumstances where the genitals and buttocks would not otherwise be visible
and he does so:
- without the victim’s consent and
- he does not reasonably believe he has the victim’s consent.
The maximum sentence is one of two years imprisonment and can result in being placed on the Sex Offenders Register.
Enforcement Of The Act| Kangs Sexual Offences Team
Since April 2019 four men have been convicted of ‘Upskirting’:
- Salim Ahmed was seen filming women at the entrance to Wireless Festival. On his phone was found 16 recordings taken under women’s skirts. He received a Community Order.
- Michael Adjetey was caught on CCTV taking pictures of women’s buttocks in a TK Maxx shop. He later admitted to taking hundreds of similar photos. He was sentenced to a two years Community Order and was placed on the Sex Offenders Register for five years.
- Thomas Hetherington was caught in the act of taking a photo up the skirt of his victim at a bus station. He received a two years Community Order and was placed on the Sex Offenders Register for five years.
- Daren Timson-Hunt, who previously worked as a government lawyer, was caught taking photos of his victim on the tube. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a two years Community Order with the requirements to partake in a thirty five days programme, thirty days of rehabilitation activity and sixty hours of unpaid work.
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