Wednesday, 23 Sep 2020

Voyeur who filmed naked woman sleeping in London hotel spared jail

A man who filmed a woman who was unconscious and naked in a London hotel room has avoided jail following a five-year legal battle by his victim.

Christopher Killick, 40, was instead fined £2,000 and ordered to attend rehabilitation sessions on Friday at Stratford Magistrates Court in London.

In May 2015, Emily Hunt woke up next to a man she did not recognise in a hotel room and feared she had been drugged.

But she was told by prosecutors that there was no realistic prospect of convicting him of any form of assault on the evidence.

After learning a year later that Killick had filmed her as she slept, Ms Hunt embarked on a public campaign for justice and a landmark court ruling on voyeurism led to his arrest.

Killick pleaded guilty last month and was sentenced on Friday to a 30-month community order. He was also ordered to pay a fine of £2,000 and compensation of £5,000.

When sentencing Killick, district judge Louisa Cieciora said: “The facts of this case are shocking.”

She added: “You prioritised your own desires without any real thought of how this might affect the victim.

“You saw an opportunity for personal sexual gratification and took it.”

The judge said she would have sentenced Killick to prison if had he not “pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity” and acknowledged the “devastating effect” of the crime on Ms Hunt – who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result.

Ms Hunt, who attempted suicide in 2016, said she was pleased with the sentence and the judge’s “powerful” comments.

In a statement, she said: “The recognition that this was a serious sexual offence and the acknowledgement of the devastating impact this has had on my life is the most important thing to me.”

While voyeurism is a crime under the 2003 Sexual Offences Act, until this year the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had said filming someone naked in a private room was not an offence if they had consented to being looked at naked.

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After a court of appeal in January clarified that non-consensual intimate filming is illegal, prosecutors reviewed the case and arrested Killick in May.

Ms Hunt said it was “appalling” it had taken five years for Killick to be convicted and has previously criticised the CPS.

After Killick pleaded guilty in August, a CPS spokeswoman said: “We recognise the delays in bringing this case to court have had a lasting impact on the victim.”

:: Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email [email protected] in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK.

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