A former City bank worker took upskirt images of his female colleagues and covertly filmed them as they walked around the office, a court heard today.
Charles Sleilati, 53, made more than 300 videos of women he worked with at the leading bank, and also amassed around 1,000 images of random women in restaurants and on public transport.
“The defendant was seen by other members of staff in an open-plan office taking pictures, filming up women’s skirts, and down their tops”, said prosecutor Komal Varsani.
“There were two anonymous reports from female whistleblowers regarding the defendant filming them and an investigation took place.”
Police recovered videos of female colleagues of Sleilati, the court heard, as well as a collection of videos featuring people having sex with animals.
Sleilati, who now works for retail giant John Lewis, admitted two charges of outraging public decency and a count of possessing extreme pornography, and was today handed a six-month suspended prison sentence.
One of his former banking colleagues who fell victim to Sleilati told the court she liked and respected him, regarding him as a “nice human being”.
But she added: “His behaviour was unprofessional and can’t be condoned – if he continued to regard it as OK or normal, no action would be taken to protect women in offices or anywhere else.”
Defence lawyer, Olivia Haggar, said the majority of the videos – although taken without consent by Sleilati - were of women walking around the office or sat at their desk.
“No one was filmed doing anything private, and in a number of videos nothing is filmed that isn’t already visibile to the human eye”, she said.
“However he admits they were intrusive, the woman didn’t consent to be filmed, and he had a purient motive.”
Sleilati, who has sought psychological help since his arrest, admits he videoed some of the victims under their desks, angling the camera to film up their skirts.
“Clearly this was building and building, and the behaviour Mr Sleilati was exhibiting was really beyond his control”, added Ms Haggar.
“He was obsessive and compulsive, and regrettably it took his arrest in 2017 for that to come to an end.”
She said the majority of the bestality material dated back to 2000 to 2008, and came from “jokey emails” from others while he was living in France.
The court heard that despite admitting the offences when he was caught in October 2017, more than three years passed in an “unexplained” delay before Sleilati first appeared in court.
Sentencing him to a six-month prison term suspended for two years, District Judge Nicholas Rimmer said: “Female colleagues at your workplace deserve to be able to go about their business and do their job without having invasive intrusions upon their bodily person by yourself.
“Whether they knew about it or not at the time, the discovery of what you had been up to – filming them covertly – must have been very distressing and caused them a great deal of anxiety.”
He said the upskirt videos on public transport were “despicable”, ordering Sleilati to attend a 35-day course to address sexual offending, 30 days of rehabilitation, and be under probation supervision for the next two years.
Sleilati, from Richmond in Surrey, will be under an electronically tagged curfew from 9pm to 6am for the next three months, and must £200 in court costs and fees.