A woman who was filmed naked while sleeping at a luxury hotel said the incident has “ruined my life” as the man responsible was finally brought to justice.
Emily Hunt, 41, woke up next to a “creepy” man at the five-star Town Hall Hotel in east London in 2015, with no idea how she got there and her last memory being having lunch with her father.
She waived her right to anonymity as she waged a lengthy battle for justice, and was in court today as the man responsible – 40-year-old Christopher Killick – was sentenced for voyeurism.
He was ordered to pay £5,000 in compensation to Ms Hunt, fined £2,000, and ordered to attend rehab sessions under a 30-month community order.
Speaking at Stratford magistrates court, Ms Hunt said the incident was “profoundly disturbing and debilitating” and drove her to the brink of suicide.
“What he has done, this voyeurism, has ruined my life”, she said. “What happened that evening five years ago changed my life almost completely.”
She said learning that the video existed had left her “anxious and very distrustful of people around me”, telling the court from behind a screen to shield her from Killick: “For years I found it almost impossible to form and maintain friendships and deeper relationships, adding to the sense of loneliness and anxiety.”
Ms Hunt, who lost her job as she struggled with PTSD, said she is plagued by fears that the “trophy” video was shared with others, leaving her feeling “violated over and over again”.
“I am a deeply private person, I don’t share intimate pictures with anyone”, she added.
The communications strategist and mother-of-one said she was “naked and terrified” when she woke up next Killick on the evening of May 10, 2015, seeing him fully clothed and laughing as he flicked through the TV channels.
She asked who he was before collecting her belongings, dressing in the bathroom, and then phoning a friend to ask for the police to be called to the hotel.
Ms Hunt, who feared she had been raped, began the task of piecing together the missing five hours between lunch with her father and waking up at the £300-a-night hotel at around 10pm.
CCTV images showed her struggling to walk properly as she was led from a bar by Killick and falling backwards as they entered the hotel.
Police later told her Killick had insisted they had consensual sex, and the Crown Prosecution Service ultimately decided there was not enough evidence to pursue a rape allegation.
She questioned the way toxicology tests had been conducted, and in a relentless pursue of information Ms Hunt also discovered that Killick’s rucksack contained condoms, viagra, and a substance believed to be a hallucinogenic drug.
Around a year after the incident, Ms Hunt was told by police that Killick had made a 62-second video of her while she was asleep. However the CPS claimed he still could not face a criminal charge.
Undeterred, Ms Hunt challenging the CPS’s view of the voyeurism law and brought judicial review proceedings, leading to a landmark judgment which said non-sensual filming in a private setting can constitute an offence.
Killick was then charged with a single count of voyeurism, which he admitted at a hearing last month.
Sentencing him this morning, District Judge Louisa Cieciora told Killick: “The fact of this case are shocking. You knew it was morally wrong and deceitful to record an intimate video, on anyone’s view which was invasive and taken without the victim’s knowledge or awareness.”
She said the effect on Ms Hunt had been “devastating”, causing her mental breakdown, saying Killick had “prioritised your own desires without any real thought of how it would affect the victim”.
Prosecutor Varinder Hayre said Ms Hunt suffered a panic attack when she met police in the lobby of the hotel on the night of the offence, having left behind her tights and favourite necklace in the room with Killick as he asked her to stay with him.
“Mr Killick told her nothing had happened but Ms Hunt didn’t know if she believed him, as she had woken up cold and naked with a thin throw that barely covered her”, she said.
“She described the guy as so creepy, smiling and acting as if everything was OK.”
The court heard Killick told police they had consensual sex before Ms Hunt went to sleep. He then performed a sex act next to Ms Hunt as she lay unconscious, made himself a cup of tea, and then filmed the video of her naked body.
“This was in case he wanted to masturbate at some point later,” added Ms Hayre, summarising his police interview. “He wanted to get as much from the experience as possible.”
The court heard Killick, from Queen’s Park, has offered an apology to Ms Hunt and did not know making the video could be a criminal offence. He pleaded guilty to a charge of voyeurism and has been banned indefinitely from contacting Ms Hunt.
Killick must observe sex offender reporting conditions over the next five years. He was ordered to attend 65 days of rehabilitation as part of his community order, and pay £85 in court costs.