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Former Tory councillor admits attempted upskirting offence at TK Maxx

A FORMER Conservative councillor has admitted an “upskirting” attempt in a high-street fashion store.

Lee Hawthorne, 41, who resigned from Gloucester City Council last April, pleaded guilty to the charge of attempted voyeurism during a brief hearing at Bristol Crown Court today.

It relates to an incident at TK Maxx in Northgate Street, Gloucester, on June 27 2019.

According to the charge, Mr Hawthorne attempted to operate a mobile phone beneath another person to observe their genitals, buttocks or underwear, without their consent, “for the purposes of obtaining sexual gratification.”

He was arrested in July 2019 following a police appeal and was suspended from the Conservative group on the council, but continued to sit as an independent until his resignation last year.

Last week, Mr Hawthorne pleaded guilty before Cheltenham magistrates to a separate charge of voyeurism committed on a date between 2015 and 2019 in Gloucester.

He will be sentenced for both offences on March 29 at Bristol Crown Court.

Judge William Hart released Mr Hawthorne, of Abbeydale, Gloucester, on unconditional bail and ordered a pre-sentence report.

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