Creep dad jailed for upskirting schoolgirls
A father of two teenage daughters has been jailed for filming up the skirts of schoolgirls on trains after telling police he had "a thing about underwear".
"The message has to be sent out loud and clear that we will protect our children," Magistrate Erin Kennedy said as she handed down the tough sentence to sales rep Nigel Kengwai.
She described Kengwai's behaviour as reprehensible after hearing how he had brazenly continued to film up one schoolgirl's skirt even as she realised he was doing it before she could pull her skirt tight around her legs.
The 16-year-old in school uniform had been reading a book on the top level of a train from Strathfield to Wynyard at about 8am on May 1 last year as Kengwai walked up the stairs from the lower level to film beneath her skirt.
The girl had been frozen with fear but reported the creep to police along with a detailed description. When police caught him through CCTV footage a few months later at Wynyard Station, he had images of another three women on his phone, one of them a second schoolgirl, Downing Centre Local Court heard.
Police told the court that Kengwai, 42, posed a "huge risk to the community" as they believed there were countless other victims of his upskirting whose images he had deleted from the phone.
"(He) fully co-operated with police however police have concerns that (he) states he gets uncontrollable urges to commit these offences when he is depressed," the police statement of facts tendered to the court said.
Kengwai, of Penrith, pleaded guilty to three counts of recording intimate images without consent. He was jailed for 11 months with six months' non-parole.
His defence lawyer, Vanessa Barnsley, said Kengwai had reflected on what it would have been like if this had happened to his own teenage daughters, who live with his ex-wife. She said he was embarrassed by his behaviour.
Magistrate Kennedy said that instead of telling children to be careful when they travel on trains and buses, "they should be able to get on public transport, to school and come home safely".
"Society will not tolerate this kind of behaviour" Ms Kennedy said.
She said the only saving grace for the other three women whose images were found on Kengwai's phone were that they did not know they had been filmed. One had been filmed beneath her skirt as Kengwai walked closely behind her at Wynyard Park on September 3 last year after filming the second schoolgirl.
The other offence took place on September 11.
Kengwai lodged an immediate appeal against his sentence and applied for bail which was refused after the court said there was a risk to public safety.
The appeal was set down for March 26.
*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.