A London Metropolitan Police counter-terrorism detective has been sentenced to three years in jail for secretly filming models during fake photoshoots. The BBC reports that 40-year-old Detective Inspector Neil Corbel was said to have committed the crimes in hotel rooms and Airbnbs across London, Brighton and Manchester using cameras hidden in tissue boxes, phone charges and glasses to film women unaware.
Corbel, who is married and has a family, admitted to 19 counts of voyeurism. One model stated that she has been left with bald spots as a result of pulling out her hair due to stress since the incident, according to a victim impact statement presented to the court. Two other victims also told the court of their distress, as reinforced by Judge Martin Edmunds QC during sentencing.
The court heard that Corbel was a “diagnosed sex addict” and claimed to be an airline pilot with an interest in photography when approaching models on the website PurplePort (which isn’t anything even resembling an “agency”, despite what the BBC might believe) to arrange photoshoots between 2017 and 2020. The prosecution said that of the 19 voyeurism charges, 16 were models Corbel had booked while the other three were escorts or sex workers who had consented to sexual activity but did not agree to be filmed.
One model spoke to the court about her experience, saying:
This experience has affected every aspect of my life.
I am used to taking calculated risks, now I turn down opportunities.
I have been in therapy ever since. I am paranoid and jumpy and have panic attacks. I’m a model and a large part of this job is built on mutual trust.
I have pulled out so much of my own hair through stress that I have bald spots and have had to turn down work as a result.”
Another victim told the court that “the fact he is a policeman is a huge deal”, which is absolutely true. The police are supposed to protect the general public, not prey on them. Given other recent bad press British police have received against women recently, it’s not looking good at all.
Corbel’s barrister argued that previously diagnosed sex addiction, which is reported to have begun in his childhood, was a factor in his crimes. It ended his 13-year career in the police and has “almost destroyed him and hurt his undeserving and loyal wife and family”. He also stated that “not a penny of police money has been abused. Nor was it ever done on police time”.
The fact that he did this at all is… well, it’s abhorrent, if you ask me. There’s no other way to put it. And it’s not just the 19 women who are victims but also his wife and family. I hope she has a good divorce lawyer.