Met Police sergeant, 30, took naked photos of woman in shower with his iPhone

A Met Police sergeant took naked photos of a woman in the shower with his iPhone, a court has heard.

Benjamin McNish, 30, has been suspended from his job after the allegations came to light.

The victim told Southwark Crown Court in London she felt "confused and shocked" after catching McNish in the act trying to take pictures of her naked at a flat in London, on the morning of February 18, 2019.

McNish, a married father-of-two, claimed he had been using the iPhone as an "extension of my eyes" to find his razor after forgetting to shave ahead of a work drinks function.

The policeman, from Benfleet in Essex, has a degree in Chinese and Spanish, speaks seven languages, and was promoted to sergeant just three years after joining the Met.

He will be sentenced by Judge Jeffrey Pegden QC on July 15 and could face prison and the end of his police career.

A count of possessing an extreme pornographic image, which was not part of the trial, was left to lie on file.

Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) 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."

McNish had been involved in re-organising the Met's child abuse unit and was due to start a new role in the force's rape and sex offences investigations squad.

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".

"One might consider that police officers, not least police sergeants, should be expected to behave with more propriety than the general public."

The court heard that the woman did a "double-take" when she spotted McNish's phone as she was washing.

She said: "Once I had seen the telephone for the second time, I was quite confused and shocked. My assumption was that someone was filming me.

"I did not turn off the shower. I just grabbed the towel to my chest, wrenched open the door, and, immediately after I opened the door, I saw Mr McNish standing outside."

She said he looked "like a rabbit in the headlights" and that she started shouting at him.

He told her to "shush", she told the court.

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She asked him whether he was taking images of her and he replied: "Yes, I was but I deleted them."

Giving evidence, 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.

He said: "I decided that I might be able to use my phone as an extension of my eyes to see if I could see my razor."

The court heard that McNish was diagnosed with dyspraxia weeks after his arrest in March 2019 and he told the jury: "I think it made me have tunnel vision."

He said he had only seen a "tiny bit of ceiling" but "inadvertently took a photo of the outside of the bathroom door" as he heard the woman burst out of the shower.

McNish added: "I knew exactly how this would look – being stood outside the bathroom with a phone in my hand while (the complainant) had been using the bathroom.

"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."

He was granted bail until sentencing.

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