London

Upskirting: Man faces jail after admitting offence

Liverpool Street station Image copyright Google
Image caption Neil Abbott took the photo as his victim queued for food at Liverpool Street station

A businessman who took a picture up a woman's skirt as she queued for food on a night out is facing jail.

Neil Abbott was on a drunken night out with friends in August when he pushed through a queue to take the photo at London's Liverpool Street station.

Abbott, 32, of Maxwell Road in Romford, east London, admitted one charge of outraging public decency on Friday.

He held his head in his hands after the judge at Westminster Magistrates' Court said he could be jailed.

Magistrate Colin Bateman-Jones said "all sentencing options are available".

'Distressed'

Prosecutor Jennifer Fadaka told the court the victim was "repulsed" by Abbott's actions and was left "extremely distressed, with a shaky voice".

She said: "It was clear [Abbott] was drinking - he was unsteady on his feet."

Abbott was arrested after a witness told the victim what had happened, and she in turn alerted station staff.

Ms Fadaka said police found several other upskirting images on his phone.

Defence counsel Claire McGrath said her client found upskirting photos "attractive", but said there was no evidence he had taken them himself.

She said Abbott, who worked in banking and finance before setting up his own business, had shown genuine remorse.

'Intoxicated'

She said: "Although we of course accept that it is a serious and unpleasant matter, it is a one-off."

"It was done when he was intoxicated, he was not acting like he usually would," she added.

"There was no sense of sophistication or trying to hide what he did. He pushed into the queue [to take the picture] and was seen straight away."

Abbott was released on bail ahead of sentencing.

On 12 April, upskirting became a specific offence punishable by up to two years in jail. Abbott was charged under older legislation.

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