Former Met cop 'secretly filmed naked models on hotel spy cameras', court hears

13 September 2021, 17:18 | Updated: 13 September 2021, 20:21

Corbel secretly filmed models using spy cameras.
Corbel secretly filmed models using spy cameras. Picture: Metropolitan Police/Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

A former counter-terror Met police officer posed as a pilot to organise fake photo shoots and secretly film naked models using spy cameras, a court has heard.

Former Metropolitan Police Detective Inspector Neil Corbel, 40 - who was suspended by the force - pleaded guilty to 19 voyeurism offences at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Monday.

It came after the court heard he booked models on internet sites, gave false details claiming to be a pilot, and then planted the cameras in hotel rooms, flats and Airbnbs.

The devices were hidden away in tissue boxes, phone chargers, and an air freshener, among other things, to record victims.

He was only caught after a woman, who had agreed to pose for a naked photo shoot, became suspicious of a digital clock, discovering it was a spy camera.

Some 51 women were found on his hard drive, with 19 being identified and willing to make statements against him.

The offences, which were said to not be linked to his work as a police officer, took place across the London, Manchester and Brighton areas between January 2017 and February 2020.

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Prosecutor Babatunde Alabi said: "By and large they were all models.

"Apart from one, who agreed to be videoed, the others did not agree to be videoed."

He went on to explain that victims included escorts - who agreed to have sex with Corbel but not be filmed - and two models who had a relationship with him.

"He set up the rooms well in advance with covert devices planted in strategic places capturing the women while they were undressing before the shoots," said the prosecutor.

"What is obvious from watching the videos is that from time to time he would manoeuvre the models so that open-leg photos and open-leg videos were obtained.

"At least two of the models actually expressed concerns about devices which they thought were recording."

He added: "There was one model who agreed to being videoed but insisted to the defendant there were going to be no open-leg videos.

"She of course didn't realised there were other overt devices hidden around the room."

However, Edward Henry QC, who represented the defendant, said reports from a forensic psychologist and an addiction specialist had been prepared as part of Corbel's mitigation.

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Detective Chief Superintendent Marcus Barnett thanked victims for their "courage" and "patience" throughout the investigation.

"These are grave and troubling offences," he said.

"The investigation has been complex and I know that the team who have investigated this have worked incredibly hard.

"It is vital that the public feel that they can trust the police and, if an officer undermines that trust, it is important that their crimes are investigated thoroughly and robustly.

"The victims in this case have shown incredible strength throughout the investigation and I would like to thank them for their courage and patience throughout.

"I am truly disappointed in the actions of the officer which are not at all representative of the high values and standards we expect, and I am saddened by the pain and hurt that he has caused."

Chief magistrate Paul Goldspring adjourned the sentencing until 4 October for reports to be prepared.

He said Corbel, from Hertfordshire, "went to quite extraordinary lengths to hide what he was doing" and warned that he faced a possible jail sentence.

The Met said Corbel will also face misconduct proceedings.