Public Outrage as Thameslink Employee Receives Suspended Sentence for Voyeuristic Act on Train

Paolo Barone, a 51-year-old train driver from Buckinghamshire, has been sentenced to just three months in prison, suspended for 12 months, after being found guilty of voyeurism for upskirting a woman on public transport.

The leniency of the sentence has sparked widespread outrage and debate over the severity of punishment for such offenses.

Details of the Incident

Barone, who was returning home from his shift with Thameslink, took multiple photographs of an unconscious woman on a train, including up her skirt.

Despite wearing his work uniform, he repeatedly captured images of the sleeping woman throughout the 45-minute journey. Additionally, as he prepared to disembark at St Albans, he took more intimate photos of the woman by positioning his phone to capture upskirt images.

Legal Consequences and Reaction

In addition to the suspended prison sentence, Barone has been ordered to complete a 55-hour Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and sign the sex offenders register for seven years.

The incident, which occurred on a train from Blackfriars to St Albans on September 15, 2022, led to the seizure of three phones and a computer as part of the British Transport Police investigation.

Statement from Investigating Officer

DC Daryl Keogh, the investigating officer, condemned Barone’s actions, emphasizing that his position of trust as a train driver made the violation particularly egregious.

The victim, upon learning of the incident, was reportedly horrified by the invasion of her privacy.

Keogh reiterated the commitment of law enforcement to pursue and apprehend sex offenders on the railway network.

Response from Employer and Dismissal

Barone was identified by his employer, leading to his arrest at his home address. Jean Cockerill, People Director for Govia Thameslink Railway, expressed shock and condemnation over the incident.

Barone was promptly suspended upon identification, and the company emphasized a zero-tolerance policy for such behavior.

Following the investigation, Barone was dismissed from his role at Thameslink in January 2023.

Conclusion:

The case highlights the ongoing debate surrounding the punishment for voyeuristic acts and the need for stricter measures to deter such behavior on public transport.

Despite the employer’s swift action in response to the incident, questions remain about the adequacy of the legal consequences for Barone’s reprehensible actions.

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