Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Upskirting: Government lawyer becomes first person ever convicted under new law after underground train incident

Daren Timson-Hunt could face up to two years in prison after following woman at Embankment station

Zamira Rahim
Monday 23 September 2019 20:50 BST
What is upskirting and why is it now illegal?

A British government lawyer has become the first person to be convicted of upskirting since it was made a crime under new legislation in April.

Daren Timson-Hunt pleaded guilty last week to “operating equipment” beneath another person’s clothing while at Embankment underground station on 1 July.

The 54-year-old followed a woman who left a Northern Line train at the station, Westminster Magistrates Court heard.

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.

Another passenger saw Timson-Hunt hiding his phone under his leg to take a photo of the woman.

Upskirting refers to surreptitious filming or taking photographs under an individual’s clothing without consent.

The practice became a crime in April, under the Voyeurism [Offences] Act 2019.

People found guilty of the crime can receive a sentence of up to two years in prison and in the most serious cases they could be placed on the sex offenders register.

The British Transport Police said the conviction was the first to be obtained under the new law in England and Wales.

Timson-Hunt was banned, pending sentencing on Thursday, from travelling on the underground except for a medical or solicitor’s appointment, court hearing or job interview.

He was also barred from carrying a device capable of recording an image in a public place.

A spokesperson for the Department for International Trade confirmed on Monday that the 54-year-old had worked as a government lawyer until he resigned in August.

The New Statesman reported that the lawyer was involved in Brexit negotiations as head of the EU Exit and Goods Legal team.

Timson-Hunt also served as a governor at a primary school in Essex but resigned from his post in June.

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

Additional reporting by agencies

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in