A concert firm boss who took photos up women’s skirts using camera concealed in a pen was spared jail because he has an “illness”.
Andrew Macrae, 43, who earned £180,000 a year as vice-president of ticketing company Live Nation, amassed almost 50,000 images of strangers for his sexual gratification.
He was caught when an off-duty police officer noticed a pen-shaped camera protruding from a laptop bag as he placed it between a woman’s legs on a platform at Clapham Junction station on July 19 last year. When the officer confronted him on the train to Waterloo, Macrae admitted the pen was a camera.
He admitted seven counts of voyeurism for the purposes of sexual gratification and one count of outraging public decency at a previous hearing, and was sentenced at Inner London Crown Court.
He told officers he was “disgusted” with himself, saying he was under financial pressure and his wife was receiving counselling, while a psychiatrist diagnosed him with traits of Asperger syndrome, an acute reaction to stress and features of sex addiction.
Handing him 20 months imprisonment suspended for two years, Judge Jeremy Donne QC said: “This was undoubtedly a sophisticated, organised, planned and long-running campaign of voyeurism, albeit sporadically. “These offences are rightly regarded with revulsion by the public in general and women in particular.
“Women will undoubtedly feel a need to be protected from such behaviour by the knowledge that the courts will deal with such offenders severely, and men will thereby be deterred from committing such offences. “On the other hand, you suffer from an illness that can be treated and you have submitted to treatment.
“There has been a certain amount of comment in the media in the past year of police being unwilling or unable to pursue allegations of the type in this case, in particular so-called up-skirting.
“As this case clearly demonstrates, a well-trained, diligent police officer is perfectly capable of detecting criminal activity of this kind and dealing with it appropriately.”
The judge added: “Dr Andrews has been treating you since your arrest. He has diagnosed you as having traits of Asperger’s syndrome, which might account for your relative social isolation in your formative years.
“He has also diagnosed you as having an acute stress reaction – which is unsurprising but demonstrates the impact your arrest and these proceedings have had on you.”
A search of his home in Redhill, Surrey, found a hard drive containing secretly taken images dating back to January 2013. The images were taken on public transport, his home and at another address, and also featured Macrae wearing some victims’ underwear.
It emerged that the married father of one had installed a camera in the guest bedroom of his home. He also filmed through a woman’s window while she was undergoing a waxing treatment, and secretly entered her house to photograph himself in her underwear.
Macrae further revealed he had filmed a colleague during a brief meeting and taken a pair of her underwear from her gym bag and taken pictures of them laid out on his desk.
Macrae was barred from owning any covert recording device and any device capable of storing images unless it was made available on request to the police for the next 10 years. He was also barred from contacting the three victims named on the indictment or any member of their family, and ordered to pay £102 compensation to one victim.
Macrae’s contract with Live Nation was terminated following his arrest and he has been forced to sell his family home.
The company said in a statement: “Andrew Macrae was terminated by Live Nation Entertainment in July 2017 following his arrest. Live Nation strongly condemns Macrae’s acts and is outraged by his offensive and criminal behaviour which has no place at our company, city or the world at large.”