A former Sydney university staffer who spent his morning commute secretly filming up women’s skirts on a railway station escalator has been jailed for at least a year for his “predatory” behaviour.
Karl Edwin Skow stood ashen-faced in Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court on Wednesday as his sentence was handed down by magistrate Jacqueline Milledge.
“There are 36 victims that we know of,” she said.
“I consider what you have done to be so grave in terms of predatory behaviour on young women.”
Hours after Skow received a maximum of 18 months behind bars, his lawyer Michael Hempsall applied for bail pending an appeal in the District Court.
But Ms Milledge refused the application, saying she was concerned about the 59-year-old’s “sexually deviant behaviour” and “ongoing sexual fantasies” and was not satisfied other young women would not be put at risk.
“You knew your failings and you did nothing about them,” she said.
“The community can’t wait for people to make awful choices that affect other innocent people that are simply going about their life.”
Skow, from Barden Ridge in southern Sydney, pleaded guilty in April to three counts of intentionally recording intimate images without consent in late-2017.
He also asked that the sentencing magistrate take into account 33 further offences, involving unidentified women photographed between May and November 2017, predominantly in Haymarket between 8.30am and 9.30am.
According to a statement of facts tendered in court, a woman was on an escalator at Central railway station in October when she felt the presence of someone very close behind her and a mobile phone touching her inner upper thigh.
She looked down and saw Skow holding a phone between her legs and below her skirt with the screen facing upwards.
The woman slapped Skow’s arm a number of times and repeatedly asked if he’d filmed her, to which he replied “of course not” before continuing to walk away.
“This is humiliating for you but imagine how that young woman felt knowing that she was being preyed upon by someone like you,” Ms Milledge said.
Police seized a mobile phone upon Skow’s arrest and found a number of images depicting the “buttock area” of people wearing short skirts, along with a laptop that revealed more than 30 additional victims.
Mr Hempsall had argued there was “very little planning” behind the offending, when Skow was on his way to work as a staffing office manager at the University of Notre Dame, and jail would be “manifestly excessive”.