Parking kingpin convicted by his own camera

We’ve reported regularly on the rising tide of private-parking penalties at hospitals and supermarkets all over the UK, many of them based on unclear signs, dodgy terms and conditions, and the use of surveillance cameras (see several issues of Pikestaff and our articles under ‘Publications’).

The mastermind of this ‘industry’, which extracts about £200million in penalties from motorists every year, suddenly resigned as chief executive of the British Parking Association in February 2017. Despite Patrick Troy’s high public profile as chief flak-deflector over the years, with regular appearances on TV and radio, there was strangely no blizzard of tributes from his friends at the companies he’d helped to enrich.

The reason became clear in March at Westminster Magistrates’ Court when Troy pleaded guilty to offences of outraging public decency after he was caught filming up a woman’s skirt at Vauxhall station, London. The prosecutor said: ‘The defendant was seen holding his phone at an angle below her skirt and the witness saw the red recording light on and a clear image of the skirt and back of the woman’s legs,’ he said.

‘The witness challenged him at platform eight and followed him onto the train where he was seen with his hand in his right pocket fidgeting with something. It is thought he was trying to get his phone out to delete the image. The police were called and when the train stopped at Clapham Junction he was arrested. A number of other images were found on the phone.’

Troy told police: ‘Sometimes I wonder, I suppose it’s for sexual gratification, I don’t know, that must be the conclusion.’ He pleaded guilty to an act outraging public decency and was sentenced to 18 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for two years. Troy was also made subject to an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO), which prohibits him taking pictures on public transport. The magistrate, John Newgas, said offences had occurred over a 10-month period, with a range of victims affected.

Troy must also comply with a 35-day designated activity requirement and up to 100 days on a programme chosen by the probation service. ‘This offence is so serious custody is the only option, due to harm and risk,’ added Mr Newgas. ‘A suspended sentence is serious. If you commit an offence within 24 months the sentence could be reactivated. You are on a warning and quite lucky to not be in prison.’ Troy must also pay £85 costs and a £115 victim surcharge. [Source link] [20 April 2017]