Private school teacher blamed 'stress' after filming female colleague in shower

21 July 2022, 23:53 | Updated: 22 July 2022, 10:37

A teacher at Hampton School in London filmed a female colleague getting changed
A teacher at Hampton School in London filmed a female colleague getting changed. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

A teacher at a £22,000-a-year private school has been ordered to sign the sex offenders register after being caught filming a female colleague in the shower.

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Assistant head of year Christopher Arnold, 37, recorded the victim getting changed at Hampton School in southwest London on March 23, leaving her "shaken and shocked".

The woman noticed a smartphone pressed against the window of the school's shower room, Wimbledon magistrates' court was told.

Expecting to find a student, she ran out into the corridor - but instead came across Arnold.

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Adam Cooper, for the prosecution, said: "There is a small bathroom area that connects to the gym, leading to a female shower room for staff.

"The complainant was getting changed in the shower room at 8.10am and was sitting on a bench facing the door, which has three clear window slots.

"She could see a black smartphone held against the window and shouted out, thinking it was a student, but found this defendant."

In an impact statement read at court, the victim said: "It is a horrible thing to have happened and to have it carried out by a colleague makes it even more intruding."

Arnold has since left the school
Arnold has since left the school. Picture: Alamy

Arnold admitted responsibility but claimed it was a coping strategy to manage stress.

"He was under a lot of stress," said Sunvir Kaur, Arnold's lawyer.

"It had been a difficult term and he used pornography to relieve his symptoms as a coping strategy."

The lawyer added that Arnold showed "genuine remorse" and "sought help himself through his own expense".

In a police search no recording of the teacher or any similar materials were found on his devices.

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Arnold pleaded guilty to one charge of observing a person doing a private act for the purpose of sexual gratification.

He was ordered to sign the sex offenders' register, carry out 200 hours of community service and pay £85 costs and a £395 victim surcharge.

He will also attend 30 sessions of the Horizon sex offenders' programme, and faces a professional hearing after which he is likely to be banned from the profession.