Met detective guilty of spying on woman in shower with iPhone

Published
image captionBenjamin McNish looked like "a rabbit in the headlights" after being caught, his victim said

A married detective who used his iPhone to spy on a woman in the shower has been found guilty of voyeurism.

The victim said she felt "confused and shocked" after catching Benjamin McNish trying to take pictures of her naked on the morning of 18 February 2019.

The 30-year-old Met Police detective sergeant, who is currently suspended, claimed he had used the device as an "extension of my eyes" to find a razor.

The married father-of-two was granted bail until his sentencing on 15 July.

McNish, from Benfleet in Essex, was found guilty of voyeurism, by observing a person doing a private act for his sexual gratification, by the jury at Southwark Crown Court on Thursday.

'Absurd lie'

Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) senior specialist prosecutor Andrew Levin said: "He violated the victim's privacy by spying on her in a bathroom.

"During the trial, McNish claimed that he had just been using his phone to look for his razor by the sink, but the prosecution was able to prove to the jury that this was an absurd lie."

McNish had been involved in reorganising the Met's child abuse unit and was due to start a new role in the force's rape and sex offences investigations squad at the time of the incident at a property in north-west London.

A count of possessing an extreme pornographic image, which did not form part of the trial, was left to lie on file.

Prosecutor William Eaglestone told the jury McNish's actions could be considered as more sinister than being a "peeping Tom, Carry On film-type behaviour".

"One might consider that police officers, not least police sergeants, should be expected to behave with more propriety than the general public."

'Confused and shocked'

The court heard the woman did a "double take" when she spotted McNish's phone as she was washing, then grabbed her towel after seeing it for a second time.

"Once I had seen the telephone for the second time, I was quite confused and shocked. My assumption was that someone was filming me," she said.

"I did not turn off the shower. I just grabbed the towel to my chest, wrenched open the door and, immediately after I opened the door, I saw Mr McNish standing outside."

She said he looked "a bit shocked, like a rabbit in the headlights" and that she started shouting at him.

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