A globetrotting financial services IT boss used his mobile phone to spy on a woman changing in a boutique cubicle.
Neil Smyth, 43, used his phone as a periscope to ogle the woman over the changing-rooms divider as she tried on a t-shirt and two pairs of trousers, in Uniqlo, in Wimbledon.
The married father, who has a Master’s Degree in Multimedia Technology and sits on the Executive Board of Wimbledon-based StatPro, was on his lunch hour when he wandered into the shop.
Smyth, from Dorking pleaded guilty to observing a person doing a private act for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification at Uniqlo, The Broadway on June 11.
Neil Smyth, 43, (pictured right), leaving Wimbledon Magistrates Court with his wife Chloe. The married father, from Dorking, must complete 100 hours community service and 20 days rehabilitation.
He was hoping to avoid signing the sex offenders register, but will have to for five years and must also complete 100 hours community service and 20 days rehabilitation.
Prosecutor Mr. Brinkman May told Wimbledon Magistrates Court: ‘The complainant removed her dress and was in her underwear as she fitted-on the clothing.
‘She saw the top-half of a mobile phone over the cubicle divider and says: ‘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.’
‘A security guard was called and waited for whoever was in the changing cubicle to come out,’ explained Mr. May. ‘Eventually a man, Mr. Smyth, came out.’
When confronted in the store Smyth said: ‘It isn’t me, it’s ridiculous. I have a wife and child.’
Smyth, from Dorking, used his phone as a periscope to ogle the woman over the changing-rooms divider at Uniqlo in Wimbledon (pictured)
Afterwards the victim said: ‘I am worried he may have sent the footage to someone else or uploaded it somewhere.’
However, Smyth insists he did not record the woman and was simply viewing her via the screen and a police examination of the phone found no recordings.
Smyth’s lawyer Mr. Richard Evans told the court: ‘He only watched for six to eight seconds and was not recording anything. He was looking at the image on the phone as if it was a mirror.
‘He maintains he never saw the complainant in any state of undress at all.
‘He admits looking over the partition was a measure of excitedness, a measure of naughtiness, a thrill.
‘When he was arrested he was mortified, embarrassed, ashamed and did not feel any thrill or pleasure in doing this.
‘It was triggered by stress and anxiety. He is an IT and marketing manager and has twenty-nine employees below him and a six million pound budget.
‘He travels globally eight to ten times a year to the USA, Canada, South Africa and Europe and he found it difficult to manage his peaks of stress.’
Smyth was scheduled to address 150 people at a conference the day after his arrest. ‘He felt the pressure build and that led to what happened.
‘He has not coped with the stress of job, but buried it even though to some he has an enviable life.’
His employers are aware of his arrest and have funded cognitive behaviour therapy courses and Smyth himself has paid for psychotherapy sessions.
However, Smyth fears being placed on the sex offenders register could be the end of his twenty-one years with the company.
Deputy District Judge Claire Jackson told Smyth, who was supported in court by wife Chloe: ‘You used a phone in the hope of seeing a female in a state of undress.
‘There is not an excuse for that really. It has done damage to the victim, who is now scared to undress in changing rooms.
‘To cause such distress to someone for a few seconds of your own sexual gratification is worrying.
‘No regard was taken for her or how she would feel or for your wife who’s been extremely supportive.’
Smyth was also ordered to pay £500 compensation to the victim, plus £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.