Vile Thameslink train driver took ‘upskirting’ photos of woman as she slept in carriage

Paolo Barone, 51, took the photos while wearing his Thameslink uniform (British Transport Police )
Paolo Barone, 51, took the photos while wearing his Thameslink uniform (British Transport Police )

A “vile and disgusting” train driver has narrowly avoided jail after taking upskirting photos of a woman after she passed out in a carriage.

Paolo Barone, 51, targeted her in a “hideous act” while travelling home from his shift for Thameslink and still wearing a work uniform.

For 45 minutes, he snapped the victim on the northbound service from London Blackfriars to St Albans on September 15, 2022.

As predator Barone prepared to alight at the Hertfordshire station he took more snaps, positioning his phone so that it was directed up the woman’s skirt.

His employer identified him from CCTV and Barone was arrested at his home address in Brackley Road, High Wycombe.

Three phones and a computer were seized by British Transport Police during the raid. One mobile contained five images of the woman.

Barone was found guilty of voyeurism and sentenced to three months in prison, suspended for 12 months.

He must also complete a 55-hour rehabilitation activity requirement and sign the sex offenders register for seven years. In January, Barone was dismissed from his job.

Detective Constable Daryl Keogh, who investigated the case, said: “Wearing his work unform meant Barone was in a position of trust when he committed this vile and disgusting violation.

Govia Thameslink train (PA Archive)
Govia Thameslink train (PA Archive)

“Seeing the woman was sleeping and vulnerable he took the opportunity, not to watch out for her, but to commit this hideous act.

“The woman was horrified when she learned what had happened as she slept.

“We will stop at nothing to deter, pursue, arrest and bring sex offenders on the railway network to justice.

“Every report is important. See it or experience it, you can report anything that makes you uncomfortable.

“We urge everyone to save 61016 to their phones and download the Railway Guardian app before you travel so you can discreetly get in touch with us if you need us.”

Jean Cockerill, People Director for Govia Thameslink Railway, said: “We were shocked and appalled to learn about this incident.

“As soon as we were made aware we followed our internal procedures, which included suspending the individual as soon as he was identified.

“We hold our colleagues to the highest standards of conduct and this type of behaviour will never be tolerated.

“We thank the person for their courage in coming forward and reporting this crime, and we encourage anyone who experiences or witnesses this type of behaviour on the railway to report it to the British Transport Police.”