A MARRIED police officer who used his iPhone to secretly spy on a woman in the shower has been found guilty of voyeurism.
Sleazy Sergeant Benjamin McNish left his victim feeling “shocked and confused” after she caught him trying to take snaps of her naked in February 2019.
The Metropolitan Police DS claimed he had been using the device as an "extension of my eyes" to find his razor after forgetting to shave ahead of a work drinks function.
McNish, 30, of Benfleet, Essex, was today found guilty of one count of voyeurism by a jury at Southwark Crown Court.
The married dad-of-two, who is currently suspended from the force, is almost certainly facing the end of his police career and potentially a prison sentence.
McNish, who denied the charges, has been released on bail ahead of his sentencing hearing on July 15.
He now faces up to two years in prison for the offence, with Judge Jeffrey Pegden, QC, telling him: “I do take the view that this passes the custody threshold. I can only imagine that he will lose his job from this.”
A count of possessing an extreme pornographic image, which did not form part of the trial, was left to lie on file.
McNish had been involved in reorganising the Met's child abuse unit and was due to start a new role in the force's rape and sex offences investigations squad at the time of the incident.
He was staying with the woman and one of his senior colleagues at a small flat in north London, at the time of the offence.
The night before, McNish brought up showering arrangements for the next day and offered to use the bathroom before the woman.
The following morning the woman heard the shower in use and waited for her turn.
When she entered the shower and took off her pyjamas she looked up and spotted a phone poking above the glass panel, the court heard.
As soon as she spotted the phone, McNish pulled it away, then pointed it at her again, Southwark Crown Court heard.
The woman grabbed her towel, ran into the corridor and found a startled McNish looking “like a rabbit caught in the headlights.”
Prosecutor William Eaglestone told the jury that his actions could be considered as more sinister than being a "peeping Tom, Carry On film-type behaviour".
He said:"One might consider that police officers, not least police sergeants, should be expected to behave with more propriety than the general public."
“I was confused, I was shocked."
Jurors heard that she confronted McNish about whether he was taking images of her and he replied: "Yes, I was but I deleted them."
McNish said his "sole intention" had been to find his razor and he had first tried, but failed, to look through the glass panel of the bathroom door.
McNish added: "I knew that (she) was in the shower but I wasn't looking at a naked woman when I stuck my phone up to the glass pane."
After hearing the commotion the senior officer ran into the corridor and saw McNish gripping a phone.
He told jurors that he heard McNish say he had taken pictures but quickly erased them.
Giving evidence from behind a screen the woman broke down in tears as she told the court: “I was confused, I was shocked. I was quite indignant that somebody would invade my privacy.
“I saw a mobile phone and the camera was pointing into the bathroom. I thought I saw a finger and a thumb around the phone.
“It looked to me on my first fleeting glance that it was angled towards the shower. It was angled on a diagonal towards the shower and bath area.
“It seemed to me you would have been able to see quite a lot of my body.”
Crown Prosecution Service senior specialist prosecutor Andrew Levin said: "Benjamin McNish was a serving policeman who observed a woman showering without her consent for his own sexual gratification.
"This was a private act that McNish had no right to observe. He violated the victim's privacy by spying on her in a bathroom. His actions were clearly illegal and wholly unacceptable.
"During the trial, McNish claimed that he had just been using his phone to look for his razor by the sink, but the prosecution was able to prove to the jury that this was an absurd lie.
"The CPS will always aim to prosecute those who commit criminal acts, regardless of who they are, where there is the evidence to do so."
The Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) investigated, and have confirmed that misconduct proceedings will take place.
Stephen Clayman, East Area BCU Commander added: “This sort of behaviour is completely unacceptable, will not be tolerated and it is right that DS McNish has been held to account for his actions as a result of this investigation.
“Although the offence was committed whilst off-duty, DS McNish will still face MPS misconduct proceedings once all criminal proceedings have concluded.”
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