Former Tory government lawyer Daren Timson-Hunt recently became the fourth person to be convicted of the new offence of ‘Upskirting’ in England and Wales. The purposeful capturing of images under an individual’s clothing, for the purposes of obtaining sexual gratification, became an offence under the Voyeurism (Offences) Act in April of this year.
Timson-Hunt pleaded guilty to one offence said to have occurred on 1 July 2019 at Embankment Underground Station in Central London. He was observed by a Scotland Yard Police Inspector who was travelling as a passenger on the underground, taking a number of images underneath a woman’s skirt on the stairs in the station. The Inspector confronted Timson-Hunt who was arrested shortly after, and admitted the offence in the hope that he could receive a police caution and avoid prosecution. His representative told the Court that he was very sorry for his actions, and that the incident had negatively impacted his marriage.
Timson-Hunt was sentenced to a Community Order requiring him to complete programme work with the Probation Service and 60 hours of unpaid work as a form of punishment, by September 2021. By virtue of the conviction, Timson-Hunt was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register for five years.
Timson-Hunt left his job as a Tory lawyer in August 2019, just over one year after Tory MP Christopher Chope famously objected to the Upskirting Bill in the House of Commons when the law was first proposed. Chope was the only individual to object to the Bill, and was criticised openly by many members of the Conservative party and the then Prime Minister Theresa May, for doing so. His objection was labelled “shameful”, an embarrassment and disgusting by many MPs and Bill supporters. The shadow equalities minister Dawn Butler called on Mrs May to remove Chope from his position.
It is understood that Timson-Hunt’s resignation is not connected to his Upskirting conviction.
Blog by Sophie Cohen