Man admits 'upskirting' women in Suffolk supermarket
PUBLISHED: 19:08 24 June 2019 | UPDATED: 08:40 25 June 2019
A 40-year-old man has admitted a charge of outraging public decency after he was caught taking indecent images of women while they were shopping in a Suffolk superstore.
Robert Cooper, of Dewar Lane, Kesgrave, was seen 'upskirting' - taking images up the skirts of women - by a security guard at the Tesco supermarket in Anson Road, Martlesham, on July 7, 2018.
The security guard noticed Cooper had been in the shop for more than half an hour but had only placed three items in his basket.
He was witnessed walking up and down the aisles without selecting anything before then bending down, appearing to view the bottom shelf and placing his basket down on the floor.
On occasion, the basket was placed almost between the legs of the people next to him.
He was then seen fiddling with something inside the basket before then walking off.
After Cooper repeated the act three times, the security guard contacted another member of staff who then followed him and witnessed him using an iPhone with a green case to take images and video of women wearing skirts. Two police officers, who happened to be in the shop at the time, were contacted and they approached Cooper once he made his way to the checkout an hour after entering the shop, still with only three items in his basket.
They asked him to turn over his phone and once he did, despite initially giving them an alternative phone, they found 71 images and 29 videos all taken up the skirts of women.
Cooper admitted an act of outraging public decency today (June 24) at a hearing at Suffolk Magistrates Court in Ipswich.
He was sentenced to a 24 month community order during which he has to complete 15 days of rehabilitation and a further 35 days with the Horizon Programme.
He was also ordered to pay a £85 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the prosecution.
An order to destroy the phone which had all the images on it was also made by magistrates.
After he was sentenced, Cooper said: "I would like to apologise to all of the women who were victims and to the courts."
Following changes to the law introduced in April this year, upskirting is now an offence under the Voyeurism Act 2019.