Court hears he used his phone to film victim in a Wimbledon store
A Wimbledon marketing executive used his mobile phone to spy on a woman as she undressed in the town’s Uniqlo store, a court has heard.
Neil Smyth, aged 43, was caught as he held his phone over a cubicle at Uniqlo’s Wimbledon town centre store as a woman tried on a t-shirt and two pairs of trousers.
The unsuspecting victim had removed her dress and was in her underwear when she spotted the top of Smyth’s phone poking out, and called for help from the shop’s security guard.
When married father-of-one Smyth emerged from his cubicle in the shop (pictured), he denied spying on the woman and said the claim was “ridiculous”.
But at Wimbledon magistrates’, Smyth, who is on the executive board of financial services provider StatPro, Mansel Road, Wimbledon pleaded guilty to observing a person doing a private act for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification on June 11.
His lawyer, Richard Evans, told the court Smyth, from Dorking, had done it during his lunch hour for “a measure of naughtiness, a thrill”, but he had been “mortified, embarrassed and ashamed” when caught.
Mr Evans said Smyth, who is in charge of IT and marketing at the software firm and manages a £6 million budget, had been due to address 150 people at a conference that day. “He has not coped with the stress of the job, but buried it even though to some he has an enviable life.”
Mr Evans added that Smyth denies recording any footage and insists that he did not see the victim while she was undressed, having only used his phone “as a mirror” for a matter of seconds.
The woman told police: “I don’t know how long the person was holding it there. I was shocked and said loudly, ‘Someone is taking a picture of me’.”
The court heard the woman was left worried that footage may have been posted online or sent on, and she now fears going into changing rooms.
Smyth has been sent on a cognitive behaviour therapy course by his employers and has also started seeing a psychotherapist. Sentencing him to 100 hours of community service and 20 days of rehab, deputy district judge Claire Jackson told Smyth: “No regard was taken for her [the victim] or how she would feel, or for your wife who’s been extremely supportive.”
August 30, 2018