Thursday, 1 Oct 2020

Voyeur who filmed woman sleeping naked in hotel avoids jail

A voyeur who filmed a naked woman in a hotel room while she was unconscious has avoided jail after a five-year legal battle.

Christopher Killick, 40, recorded a 62-second clip of Emily Hunt in a London hotel room in 2015.

Ms Hunt woke up next to a man she did not recognise and feared she may have been drugged.

Killick, from Brent, London, always claimed the encounter was consensual, while prosecutors told Ms Hunt there was no realistic prospect of bringing a charge based on the available evidence.

However, during their investigation, officers discovered a video filmed by Killick, which he told police was for his own sexual gratification.

Prosecutors maintained they could still not bring a charge against Killick if the filming occurred in a private room and the person being filmed agreed to being seen naked.

It wasn’t until the Court of Appeal clarified in January that filming someone without their consent is voyeurism.

Killick was subsequently charged and he pleaded guilty on August 10.

At Stratford Magistrates’ Court today, Killick was ordered to pay Ms Hunt £5,000 in compensation and be put on the sexual offenders register for five years.

District judge Louisa Cieciora said she would have sentenced Killick to prison had he not ‘pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity’ and acknowledged the ‘devastating effect’ on Ms Hunt.

She said: ‘The facts of this case are shocking.

‘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.’

Ms Hunt, who has waived her right to anonymity, was pleased with the judge’s ‘powerful’ comments but was said to be upset that Killick avoided jail.

‘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,’ she said through her lawyer.

Kate Ellis, from the Centre for Women’s Justice, said: ‘She’s emotional. It was very hard for her today for him not to receive a custodial sentence. 

‘She’s got some degree of justice. What we heard in court today shows how difficult it is for victims of serious crimes to be given the punishment they deserve. 

‘What we have is vindication for the conviction, but it still is not easy for her to know that this man is still out on the streets.’

Ms Hunt added that it was ‘appalling’ it had taken five years for Killick to be convicted.

.The Crown Prosecution Service said: ‘We recognise the delays in bringing this case to court have had a lasting impact on the victim.

‘This is a complex area of law, which was clarified for the first time in the Court of Appeal this year. In light of that significant ruling, the CPS reviewed all the evidence in this case and authorised a charge of voyeurism.’

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