Sex offender, 52, with ‘upskirting’ conviction jailed for photographing hundreds of women’s bottoms

Serial sex offender, 52, with ‘upskirting’ conviction is jailed for two years after taking hundreds of photos of women’s bottoms at Manchester Pride

  • Andrew Smoggie, 52, took pictures of women’s bottoms at Manchester Pride
  • This was in breach of a court order barring him from photographing women 
  • Manchester Crown Court heard the order was imposed on October 2021
  • He had 27 previous convictions spanning 36 offences, six of them sex crimes

A serial sex offender with an ‘upskirting’ conviction has been jailed for two years after photographing hundreds of women’s bottoms at Manchester Pride. 

Officers spotted Andrew Smoggie, 52, taking pictures of unknowing women at the LGBT festival last year. 

They discovered he was subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO), which barred him from taking pictures or videos of women he did not know in a public place.

The order was imposed in October 2021 as part of a suspended prison sentence for an offence of ‘upskirting’, Manchester Crown Court heard. 

Andrew Smoggie, 52, has been jailed for two years after photographing hundreds of women's bottoms at an LGBT festival last year

Andrew Smoggie, 52, has been jailed for two years after photographing hundreds of women’s bottoms at an LGBT festival last year 

Officers spotted Smoggie taking pictures of unknowing women at Manchester Pride

Officers spotted Smoggie taking pictures of unknowing women at Manchester Pride

Police saw Smoggie, previously known as Andrew Mackie, taking a number of photographs of passing women from behind on Peter Street in Manchester city centre on August 27 last year.

Katherine Wright, prosecuting, said Smoggie aimed the camera at their bottoms and the women he photographed ‘were not aware photos were being taken’.

When officers challenged him, Smoggie, who has a history of sex offending, allegedly told police: ‘It’s not illegal to take photos in a public place.’

However, when an officer checked Smoggie’s phone they found it contained ‘multiple images of women mostly from behind focussing on their bottoms’, Ms Wright said.

A check of police records established the defendant was the subject of a SHPO and he was arrested.

Analysis of the phone found 348 images of mostly adult women – all fully-clothed – who appeared to be unaware the snap had been taken, said Ms Wright. 

Meanwhile, some of the images showed girls from the age of 14, the court was told.

When he was interviewed by officers, Smoggie said he had been ‘set up to fail’ because of the imposition of the SHPO. He insisted none of the pictures he had taken were for sexual gratification.

Smoggie was subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO), barring him from taking pictures or videos of women he did not know in a public place

Smoggie was subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO), barring him from taking pictures or videos of women he did not know in a public place

As part of their investigation, police also uncovered a second phone belonging to Smoggie on which a further 1,400 pictures of women in a public place were found. The court heard some of these were taken after the imposition of the SHPO.

During a second police interview, Smoggie admitted he had taken all the pictures found on the device. He admitted it was a breach of the order but stated the SHPO had been ‘unfair’, the court was told.

Smoggie, of Warrington, Cheshire, admitted he travelled to Pride events both in Manchester and Liverpool to take the photos. 

He had 27 previous convictions spanning 36 offences, six of them sex crimes, the court heard yesterday.

The offender was convicted of indecent assault against a female over the age of 16 in 2001, and has four offences of voyeurism to his name. He was also convicted of breaching a SHPO eleven times, the court was told.

In February last year, Smoggie was convicted of an ‘upskirting’ offence at Bolton Magistrates’ Court and was handed a 24-week prison sentence, suspended for two years. He was also made the subject of an indefinite SHPO.

David Thompson, mitigating, said his client’s conduct ‘wouldn’t ordinarily be unusual or criminal’ but for the existence of the SHPO. 

‘When officers stopped and asked to look at the phone, I understand he was compliant and there’s no suggestion he was anything other than compliant at that time and, indeed, the images themselves, albeit they are images he is prevented from taking, they are not necessarily in themselves the worst images that come before these courts,’ said Mr Thompson. 

‘There’s no suggestion whatsoever there was anything along the lines of upskirting, which is an offence which gives rise to the imposition of the suspended sentence.’

He described his client as ‘very much a loner’ who had been the victim of abuse as a child which had left him suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Smoggie was also said to have ‘features of autism’ and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), his barrister said.

Mr Thompson added: ‘He’s very much a loner. He doesn’t have much in the way of support from family and friends.’

Recorder Paul Reid KC told Smoggie: ‘Amongst the prohibitions of the order you were prevented from using a mobile phone with the intention of capturing moving or still images of females not previously known to you when you were in a public place. In essence, that’s what you did quite a number of times.’

Mr Reid added: ‘You say they weren’t for sexual gratification. If they weren’t, I don’t know what they were for.’

The judge said the offences were ‘serious matters’ and represented ‘persistent breaches’ of the SHPO.

Smoggie was jailed for two years and four months after he pleaded guilty to two breaches of a SHPO and a breach of his suspended prison sentence.

The defendant asked what would happen to his housing association accommodation while he was in jail. 

Recorder Reid told him: ‘That’s a matter for you and the accommodation people. The sentence is one of two years and four months.’

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