PwC accountant caught with 1700 upskirting images on phone

PwC accountant caught with 1700 upskirting images on phone

‘High flying’ Leon Chan, 24, was spotted by a security guard in Topshop on Oxford Street acting suspiciously, loitering around women with his iPhone on New Years Day.

PwC accountant caught with 1700 upskirting images on phone

A PwC accountant has pled guilty to outraging public decency after he was caught with 1,700 upskirting images on his phone.

‘High flying’ Leon Chan, 24, was spotted by a security guard in Topshop on Oxford Street acting suspiciously, loitering around women with his iPhone on New Years Day.

When the security guard challenged him, Chan surrendered the phone and told the guard “I’m really sorry, I’m really stupid.”

After pleading guilty at Westminster Magistrates Court, Chan was committed for sentencing to Southwark Crown Court. Magistrate Victoria Readman told him: “We are very concerned in relation to the seriousness of the offence.

“It is not just the ninety-seven specimen incidents on your memory stick, but the sheer number of images, there were one thousand seven hundred of them. We feel this does exceed our sentencing powers.”

The court was told that Chan had received a first-class degree from the University of Leeds and currently works for Big Four firm PwC, with the defending QC, Michael Magarian saying: “He can be described as a high flier. He is in a very, very good job.”

In addition to facing Crown Court prosecution, Chan will also be subject to internal disciplinary proceedings at PwC as a result of his actions, and according to a PwC spokesman, he has been “suspended pending the completion of the disciplinary process.”

Mr Magarian said: “When he was caught by the store detective he handed over his iPhone and gave the PIN straight away.

“All of this behaviour was during a short period over Christmas and he will now face professional disciplinary proceedings as a result of this conviction. He was embarrassed and ashamed when he had to tell his employers.

“When he was arrested, he told the police officers, ‘I’m really sorry, I’m really stupid.’ Maybe he wanted to be caught.”

Prosecutor Malachy Pakenham challenged a claim from Mr Magarian that the harm caused by Chan had been limited as the women were unaware of his actions.

“This [upskirting] has become more and more prevalent,” he said. “To say there is no harm, I disagree with. If women wearing skirts have a fear or trepidation that men near them may use devices to record them then that will have an impact on society.

“Courts when they sentence reflect the errors of society and the fact these women did not know what he was doing does not go in his favour at all.

“If the harm was non-existent it wouldn’t be a criminal offence would it?”

As of 12 April 2019, upskirting became a criminal offence, with offenders facing up to two years in jail and the most serious being put on the sex offenders list.

However, due to Chan being charged before this date, he has instead been prosecuted under the offence of Outraging Public Decency, which does not specifically cover upskirting.

Despite this, there have been successful prosecutions under this act for the same offence, although it is unclear whether he would face the same punishment as he would have done if charged after the introduction of the new law.

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