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Councillor, 39, becomes one of the first arrested under new ‘upskirting’ laws

Conservative councillor, 39, becomes one of the first people to be arrested under new ‘upskirting’ laws after an alleged incident in TK Maxx

  • Gloucester City Council’s Lee Hawthorne is arrested for upskirting this week
  • He becomes one of first people in England detained under new legislation
  • Taking pictures up skirts without permission was made specific offence in April  

Lee Hawthorne, pictured, a councillor on Gloucester City Council, has become one of the first people in the UK arrested under new ‘upskirting’ legislation 

A councillor has become one of the first people arrested under new ‘upskirting’ laws.

Conservative Lee Hawthorne, 39, was arrested on suspicion of ‘upskirting’ on Wednesday following an incident at a TK Maxx last month.

He has become one of the first in the country to be arrested for the crime after it was made a specific offence in April.

The new law followed an 18-month campaign by 27-year-old writer Gina Martin after two men took pictures up her skirt at a festival in 2017.

Previously, anyone in England and Wales who fell victim to the cruel craze could explore possible convictions for the likes of voyeurism, public disorder or indecency. 

Hawthorne was arrested after officers were called to the discount store in Gloucester on June 27. 

A spokesperson for Gloucestershire Constabulary said: ‘Officers arrested a 39-year-old man from Gloucester on suspicion of voyeurism on Wednesday.

‘The arrest is in relation to a CCTV appeal that we issued earlier this week about an incident of up skirting which took place inside TK Maxx on Northgate Street, Gloucester on Thursday, June 27.

‘The man has since been released under investigation and we would like to both reassure the public that all incidents of this nature will be taken seriously and thank those who helped with our CCTV appeal.’

Hawthorne was arrested over an incident at a TK Maxx in Gloucester, pictured, last month

Hawthorne was arrested over an incident at a TK Maxx in Gloucester, pictured, last month

Mr Hawthorne sits on the authority’s overview and scrutiny committee, as well as the planning committee.

According to his register of interests, he is a manager at the Alzheimer’s Society and a director at Gloucester Dementia Action Alliance.

Upskirting, which became a criminal offence in April, is a term used when someone uses a camera to take a voyeuristic photograph without their permission.

A conviction at magistrates’ court would carry a sentence of up to one year in prison and/or a fine.

A more serious offence, tried in the crown court, would carry a sentence of up to two years in prison.

What is the law around upskirting?

Upskirting becomes a specific criminal offence in England and Wales in April, following a drive led by 27-year-old writer Gina Martin.

She battled for the new law for 18 months after after two men took a picture up her skirt at a festival in 2017. 

Upskirting is defined as taking an image or video up somebody’s clothing in order to see their genitals or underwear. 

Previously, anyone in England and Wales who fell victim to the cruel craze could explore possible convictions for the likes of voyeurism, public disorder or indecency. 

A conviction at magistrates’ court would carry a sentence of up to one year in prison and/or a fine.

A more serious offence, tried in the crown court, would carry a sentence of up to two years in prison.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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