A POLICE officer tried to secretly record a woman while she was having a shower for sexual gratification, a court has heard.

Metropolitan Police Det Sgt Benjamin McNish claimed he was looking for his razor when he poked his mobile phone into the shower while the woman was naked.

Prosecutor William Eaglestone told the jury that the Benfleet man's actions in placing his telephone above the shower window panel could be considered as more sinister than being a "peeping Tom, Carry On film-type behaviour".

He said: "This is an offence known as being a peeping Tom, Carry On film-type behaviour but in fact you can see it is a criminal offence and you might think that nowadays with Me Too it is far more sinister."

He added that the woman having the shower "might be upset by this behaviour".

McNish, 30, of Benfleet has denied a charge of voyeurism.

He is charged with observing a person doing a private act for his sexual gratification on February 18, 2019 and is standing trial at Southwark Crown Court in London.

The woman was "clearly" in the shower at the time of the alleged incident and she had not given any consent to being watched, the court heard.

McNish was a serving police officer who was working in community safety, had been involved in child abuse investigations and the force's sexual offences unit.

Mr Eaglestone told the jury: "You might think of all the people to do that kind of behaviour, Mr McNish might have been one to have second thoughts."


The court heard that the woman did a "double take" when she spotted the telephone in the bathroom.

Mr Eaglestone said: "She was in the shower washing. She looked up and saw this telephone poking up above it. She did a bit of a double take and the telephone went away.

"Then she looked up and she saw it again. She grabbed her towel and then saw Mr McNish."

He was making gestures that she should calm down, the court heard.

The jury was told the woman confronted McNish about whether he was taking images of her and he replied: "Yes, I was but I deleted them."

Another person who was nearby heard McNish say this to her, the court heard.

McNish told police officers who were called that he suffered from a disorder called dyspraxia and that one of the symptoms was to act impulsively.

The trial continues.