A MAN has admitted taking a picture up a woman's skirt at a train station.

He is believed to be the first person to appear in court charged under new laws brought in to tackle upskirting.

Daren Timpson-Hunt admitted operating equipment beneath the clothing of another without consent, when he appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court yesterday. 

The charge states Timpson-Hunt, of Broadstone Road, Stanford Le Hope, used a mobile phone "for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification" at central London's Embankment station on July 1.

British Transport Police said Timpson-Hunt, was the first person to be charged with the upskirting offence on the rail network under laws introduced in April.

The Voyeurism Act brought in a new criminal offence of upskirting, when offenders had previously been prosecuted for outraging public decency.

It came after a high-profile campaign arguing the existing legislation was not fit to deal with the crime.

Detective Inspector David Udomhiaye, head of British Transport Police Sexual Offences Unit, said: "We're pleased that we have been able to charge someone for the very first time under the new legislation - this is a big step in us clamping down on this invasive and disgusting form of sexual offending.

"For some time we had been using other laws, such as outraging public decency, to prosecute offenders for upskirting offences.

"However, this older legislation was not fit for this newly emerged crime on the rail network, and these new powers now make it easier for my officers to charge a suspect.

"We hope this helps us in sending a very strong message that sexual offending, including upskirting, will never be tolerated on the rail network."

Timpson-Hunt will be sentenced at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Thursday.

Siwan Hayward, director of compliance and policing at Transport for London, said: "Upskirting is a predatory crime and we are determined to rid the transport network of this vile offence.

"We will continue to work closely with the police using this new legislation to push for the strongest charges for offenders."