Fifty-two-year-old with “compulsive addiction” caught taking picture up woman’s skirt at Northamptonshire retail park

Paul Appleby
Paul Appleby

A 52-year-old man who was caught using his camera to take a picture up a women’s skirt in a Poundland store Northampton has been given a three-year community order.

Paul Appleby, of Rushmere Way, Rushden, was arrested after he was seen acting “strangely” in the shop in Riverside Retail Park.

Northampton Magistrates’ Court heard that Appleby was observed by a female shopper taking a picture up a woman’s skirt.

Wendy Westrope, prosecuting, said: “The witness watched him walk up behind a blonde lady, who was wearing a skirt with a split in it, and then he bent down and took a picture up her skirt.

“The woman then shouted at the defendant and he went out of the exit. Then 20 minutes later she saw him again and pointed him out to police officers.”

The court heard that Appleby was arrested on the side of the A45. When he was asked what he was doing, Appleby said he as “going for a little run”.

Appleby’s iPhone and Samsung camera were seized.

Appleby pleaded guilty to two counts of committing an act of outraging public decency at a court hearing in December. The charges relate to a period from November 1 to December 4, 2014.

Alistair Evans, mitigating, said his client was, in most respects, a normal, law-abiding person who owned his own house and earns £30,000 a year.

Mr Evans said Appleby’s behaviour was a “compulsion and an addiction” that he needed treatment for.

He was given a three-year community order including 100 hours of unpaid work, costs of £85 and victim surcharge of £60. He must complete the community sex offenders programme.

He was also given a five-year sexual offences prevention order that prevents him from owning a device capable of storing digital images.