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Jury clears policeman from charge of spying on showering woman

PUBLISHED: 15:35 05 December 2018 | UPDATED: 07:00 06 December 2018

Oliver Darby arriving at Inner London Crown Court. Picture: UK LAW NEWS

Oliver Darby arriving at Inner London Crown Court. Picture: UK LAW NEWS

Archant

A policeman from north-west Norfolk accused of leering at a naked female officer as she took a shower at a shared section house has been cleared.

Oliver Darby arriving at Inner London Crown Court. Picture: UK LAW NEWSOliver Darby arriving at Inner London Crown Court. Picture: UK LAW NEWS

Metropolitan officer Oliver Levi Darby, 41, was accused of peering through a six-inch curtain gap at the policewoman and hid in a toilet cubicle when spotted.

The ex-Royal Engineer Lance Corporal always denied the allegation and told Inner London Crown Court: “I know the difference between right and wrong, I was in the army. I’ve got morals, I’ve got standards.”

Darby, of Docking Road, Burnham Market, was staying at Gilmour Section House, Kennington Lane, Lambeth.

After nearly four hours of deliberation the jury reached a majority verdict and found him not guilty of one count of observing a person doing a private act for his sexual gratification on January 9.

He is part of the uniformed response team in the northern part of Westminster Borough and has served four years in the Met, following a 15-year military career.

“I love my job. I take great pride in my work,” he told the jury.

Darby says he was forced to dash into the women’s toilets and shower room because there were no available cubicle’s in the men’s.

“All of a sudden I threw up in my mouth and I felt I needed to sit on the toilet. I needed to find a toilet very, very quickly and I was feeling unwell as I entered the female toilets.”

The policewoman told the jury Darby deliberately stared at her through the curtain gap and hid in the toilet cubicle for up to half an hour when she spotted him.

“I am horrified, devastated,” said Darby of the allegation against him. “I never touched the curtain.”

Darby admitted he was embarrassed at the prospect of being spotted leaving the ladies.

“I am a private person. I know how it would look coming out of the womens’ toilet, not the best,” he had told the jury.

“They would think: ‘He’s up to no good, probably,’ and I wanted to avoid that.

Darby denied crawling out and removing his colourful t-shirt to dodge identification.

“That’s not true at all. I took my t-shirt off because I was unwell, I was hot and flushed.”

He was arrested and questioned by police two days after the incident and said: “I walked straight past.

“I needed the toilet because I did not want to face the consequences, the inevitable. I wanted to be near the toilet just in case.

“I did not know anyone was in the shower. I just heard the water running.”

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