Man jailed for taking up-skirt photos of woman in McDonald’s
A man has been jailed for taking up-skirt photos of a woman in McDonald’s.
Matthew Lewis, 41, sat next to his victim in a branch of McDonald’s in Brighton on July 21 last year, before starting up a conversation with her about his holiday and his mum.
Then, he sat back and pretended to use his phone with a stylus – which was actually a spy pen with a camera fitted inside it.
A customer sitting behind him saw him taking intimate photos of the woman under the table, as the images had started appearing on his phone.
At his sentencing at Hove Crown Court, Judge Paul Tain told Lewis that his actions were ‘an assault on the freedom and independence’ of his victim, who is in her thirties.
Richard Milne, prosecuting, told the court: ‘The victim was meeting her friend in the restaurant when the defendant started a conversation with the woman and showing her pictures of his mother.
‘The defendant then sat back in a chair and appeared to be playing on his mobile with a stylus. Behind him a woman observed what he was doing, taking photos under the table up her skirt and her thighs.’
The other woman told Lewis’s victim what was happening, and a row ensued – in which the victim took a photo of Lewis and uploaded it to Facebook.
Police then attended his home and found the images on his phone. He denied the offence.
Defending, Hannah Hurley told the court that Lewis had already been punished by the Facebook post, arguing that it ’caused harm to him and his mother’.
She asked the judge to spare him a custodial sentence, adding: ‘He was targeted on the bus and in the street, and at his home address. Some may think he deserved it, but his mother did not.’
Lewis had three previous convictions for 23 offences similar to this one, and for possession of indecent photographs of children.
Judge Tain said a custodial sentence needed to be imposed and jailed him for seven months.
‘This is an assault on the freedom and independence of another individual,’ he told Lewis. ‘People are entitled to go about their business and if they are female they should be able to take it as a given that nobody will take intimate photos of them in any circumstances whatsoever.
‘Just as they would just expect to go about their business with no one punching them, pushing them over or attacking them in any way.
‘There is a direct relationship between what you did and other acts of violence.’