Derbyshire upskirting pervert is convicted of outraging decency as sick act is still to be enforced as a formal offence

Derby magistrates' court.
Derby magistrates' court.

As the act of upskirting is still waiting to be passed as a formal legal offence, a Derbyshire pervert has been placed on a curfew for outraging public decency by filming or attempting to film up the skirt of a female.

Neil Leon Ratcliffe, 56, of Cherry Tree Avenue, Belper, was brought to justice in the county for being involved in the more commonly-known act of upskirting.

Derby magistrates’ court heard on January 18 how Ratcliffe indicated a guilty plea to committing an act outraging public decency by filming or attempting to film up the skirt of a female at Osmaston Road, Derby, on May 6. 2018.

He also indicated a guilty plea to committing an act outraging public decency by covertly filming women in skirts on May 6, 2018, in Derby City Centre.

But Ratcliffe was formally charged with outraging public decency and until the law in England and Wales is passed naming and banning upskirting, police will be restricted to pursuing such offences purely with the charges of outraging public decency or voyeurism.

Campaigner Gina Martin originally launched a campaign against upskirting after she was targeted at a music festival 19 months ago and legislation was passed to make it a crime in England and Wales.

The new legislation was approved in the House of Lords but it is still awaiting the formality of Royal Assent which could eventually lead to some offenders facing up to two years in jail.

Upskirting, where offenders place a phone between women’s legs and film or take photographs, has been an offence in Scotland since 2010 when it was listed under the broadened definition of voyeurism.

Ratcliffe was sentenced to a 12 month community order with a four-week curfew with electronic monitoring and a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.

He was also ordered to pay an £85 victim surcharge and £85 costs.