A Thameslink driver who took photos up a woman’s skirt as she slept on a train has been sentenced.

Paolo Barone was travelling home from his shift as a Thameslink driver when he committed the offence on a train from Blackfriars to St Albans on September 15 2022, British Transport Police said.

While wearing his work uniform he repeatedly took photographs of the sleeping woman throughout the 45-minute journey.

As the 51-year-old prepared to leave the train at St Albans, he took more photos, positioning his phone so that it was directed up the woman’s skirt.

His employer identified him and Barone was arrested at his home.

Three phones and a computer were seized with one of the phones found to contain five images of the woman.

He was found guilty of voyeurism and sentenced to three months in prison suspended for 12 months, British Transport Police added.

Barone, of Brackley Road, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, must also complete a 55-hour rehabilitation activity requirement and sign the sex offenders register for seven years.

Paolo Barone.
Paolo Barone (British Transport Police/PA)

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Daryl Keogh, said: “Wearing his work uniform meant Barone was in a position of trust when he committed this vile and disgusting violation.

“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.”

Barone was dismissed from employment by Govia Thameslink Railway in January 2023, a spokesperson said.