Ex-PwC accountant is jailed for taking upskirt photo of schoolgirl

Ex-PwC accountant, 26, is jailed for 20 months for taking upskirt photo of schoolgirl, 17, on train… nine months after being fired after being caught doing same thing in London Topshop

  • Leon Chan, 26, jailed for 20 months after taking pictures up a schoolgirl’s skirt 
  • Chan, from Sheffield, was travelling on train in Surrey when he took the pictures
  • Previously convicted of outraging public decency for videoing females at a shop

Leon Chan (pictured), 26, from Sheffield, Yorkshire, has been jailed for 20 months for taking pictures up a 17-year-old schoolgirl’s skirt in October

A former accountant has been jailed for taking pictures up a schoolgirl’s skirt on a train nine months after he was in court for a similar offence.   

Leon Chan, 26, was employed by industry giants PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) until he was convicted for videoing up women’s skirts in the Oxford Circus Topshop store in 2019.  

His latest conviction, which has seen him jailed for 20 months, relates to a train journey between Ewell and Ashtead in Surrey on October 1, 2020, at around 3pm. 

Chan, from Sheffield, Yorkshire, sat near a 17-year-old girl in school uniform and stared at her before following her when she left her seat and moved to stand at the train door.

He was holding his phone camera and pointing it towards her and CCTV showed the light on his camera appearing to flash. 

Chan then stood next to her and placed his bag on the floor. He crouched down and began rummaging through the bag with one hand, and holding his phone camera towards the victim’s legs with his other hand. 

The girl moved away and he followed her, crouching down again and holding his phone towards her. She turned around and caught him pointing his camera up her skirt. 

Chan, who holds a first-class degree, left the train at Ashtead before quickly re-boarding and continuing his journey. He was later identified by police officers in Sheffield and was arrested.

Sheffield Crown Court heard Chan been convicted of videoing women at the Oxford Circus Topshop store, nine months before the incident in Surrey. Pictured: Chan leaving Westminster Magistrates Court in 2019

Sheffield Crown Court heard Chan, who appeared via video link from HMP Doncaster, had been travelling to a dental appointment on the day of the incident.

There it was explained that Chan had been issued with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and a suspended prison sentence in 2019 following another upskirting incident in London. 

The incident cost him his job with the accountancy firm after shocked police found 1,500 videos and pictures he’d taken while following women and girls. 

Chan, was said to have been unable to find employment due to the sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) imposed in 2019.

The court heard he had been subjected to ‘abhorrent’ racial abuse during his time in custody. 

But the Recorder, David Gordon, said ‘Anyone who thinks this kind of behaviour is trivial or not serious needs to rethink their attitudes. The effects can be long-lasting and serious.’ 

Sheffield Crown Court (pictured) heard Chan, who appeared via video link from HMP Doncaster, had been travelling to a dental appointment on the day of the incident in October 2020

As well as the 20 month jail sentence, Chan has also been banned from approaching any women or girls unless he has a good enough reason. 

He will have to notify police each time he buys or equips himself with a computer, mobile phone or device capable of recording videos or taking pictures. 

A further term of his sexual harm prevention order prohibits him from travelling on the London Underground, DLR, overground or buses without an Oyster Card.  

For the latest Surrey offence he was found guilty of recording an image under clothing to observe another without consent.

He was also ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for ten years and a new SHPO was issued. 

Detective Constable Amina Khoyratee, of British Transport Police, said ‘Upskirting is a truly horrendous invasion of privacy and I would like to make it absolutely clear that we will always take these reports seriously.

‘Chan is a repeat offender who has shown no remorse throughout our investigation, so it’s lucky he’ll now have plenty of time on his hands in prison where he can reflect on his predatory behaviour.

The store in Oxford Circus where Chan was caught filming up a female customer’s skirt in January 2019

‘This is relatively new legislation, having only been introduced in 2019, but the bespoke powers make it much easier for us to charge suspects for this invasive and disgusting form of sexual offending. 

‘I would urge anyone who is a victim of upskirting, or any other sexual offence, to text us discretely on 61016 or call 999 in an emergency. No report is too small or trivial, and we will always take you seriously.’ 

Chan was convicted of outraging public decency at Southwark Crown Court in November 2019 when he was found to be videoing females at the Topshop branch in Oxford Circus. 

He was found to have a collection of 1,700 ‘upskirt’ images on his phone after he was detained the Topshop store. 

A suspicious store detective was alerted to Chan, phone in his hand, behind a woman who was bending over. 

In court Chan pleaded guilty to one count of outraging public decency, namely filming or attempting to film up the skirts of female members of the public, on or before January 1, 2019. 

The court heard the charge related to 97 sample images of ‘upskirting’ found on his iPhone’s memory stick but a total of approximately 1,700 were on the device. 

Chan was convicted of outraging public decency at Southwark Crown Court (pictured) in November 2019 when he was found to be videoing females at the Topshop branch in Oxford Circus

The court was told Chan graduated from Leeds University with a first class degree in economics. 

He was sentenced to eight months imprisonment, suspended for two years and ordered to complete 100 days of the probation service’s Horizon programme for adult male sex offenders. 

He also had to complete 60 days of a probation-ordered recommended activity requirement and he was made subject to a five-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order, prohibiting him from ‘upskirting’. 

When caught by the store detective, Chan handed over his grey iPhone and gave the PIN straight away, revealing his library of ‘upskirt’ images. 

Chan claimed his behaviour was limited to the festive period in 2018-2019 and the convictions made him subject to professional disciplinary proceedings. 

He said he was ’embarrassed and ashamed’ when he had to tell his employers about his arrest and charge and could not bring himself to talk about it over the phone.

When he was arrested, he told the police officers: ‘I’m really sorry, I’m really stupid.’

Prosecutor Malachy Packenham said ‘To say there is no harm I disagree with. If women wearing skirts have a fear or trepidation that men near them may use devices to record them, then that will have an impact on society.

‘Courts when they sentence reflect the errors of society and the fact these women did not know what he was doing does not go in his favour at all. If the harm was non-existent, it wouldn’t be a criminal offence would it?’ 

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