Man tried to take picture up woman’s skirt in supermarket

The offence happened at an Asda store.
The offence happened at an Asda store.
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A SUPERMARKET customer tried to take a photograph up a woman’s skirt with his mobile phone.

Pawel Janas was caught in the act because he brushed the woman’s thigh as he pointed his phone in the grocery aisle.

A court heard his shocked victim turned and slapped him hard in the face in Asda Walmart in Livingston.

Janas, 31, a business analyst from Dechmont, was originally charged under the Sexual Offences Act but pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of breach of the peace.He admitted bending down beside the woman with a mobile telephone in his hand and attempting to place the phone inside her clothing “with the intention of recording her private parts or underwear”.

At Livingston Sheriff Court yesterday a sheriff called for a psychiatric assessment before sentence after being told the accused could offer no explanation for his bizarre conduct.

Lyndsey Montgomery, prosecuting, said the victim was in Asda buying groceries when she became aware of the accused with a trolley walking down the aisle on the opposite side.

She said: “She became aware of something touching her leg mid-thigh at the hem of her dress.

“She immediately turned round expecting to apologise for brushing past something or somebody and found the accused bent down at an unnatural angle towards and near her body.

“She observed that the accused had his mobile phone in his hand and was holding it up against her close to her bottom.

“She also saw that the phone was upside down with the camera lens on the side. She came to the conclusion that the accused had been trying to take a picture up her dress.”

She said the woman confronted Janas, who pretended to act surprised. Ms Montgomery said: “At that time she instinctively slapped the accused in the face. She was angry and started shouting at him.

“She then got a member of staff to assist her and observed the accused walking away with the phone in his hands.

“She believed he may have been deleting items from the phone at that time.”

She said the accused’s father-in-law intervened and assured people that Janas was not capable of what he’d been accused of.

However, after viewing CCTV of the encounter police were called and Janas was arrested. He made no reply to caution and charge.

Kate Fabian, defending, said: “Clearly this is grossly inappropriate conduct and it’s more than crossed the line but there’s no significant sexual element in respect of the requirements of registration (as a sex offender).

“CCTV indicates the event was over very quickly in a matter of seconds.”

Janas will be sentenced later.