A top police officer who used hidden spy cameras to film dozens of naked women has been jailed for three years.
Neil Corbel, a married father of two, posed as an airline pilot named ‘Harrison’ to book models for photo shoots in London, Brighton and Manchester.
Victims were lured to hotel rooms, apartments and Airbnbs where Corbel hid the devices in everyday items like tissue boxes, phone chargers, air fresheners, eyeglasses, keys and headphones.
READ MORE: ‘Disgusting’ pervert in ‘Royal Mail uniform’ took upskirt photos of a schoolgirl in a supermarket
He was able to secretly film his victims for up to four hours.
Corbel, 40, a Metropolitan Police Detective Inspector, was caught after a model, who had agreed to pose nude for a photo shoot, became suspicious of a digital watch.
An internet search for the brand revealed the device to be a high-end spyware video recording device that could be controlled from a smartphone.
When he was arrested, Corbel told police he was addicted to sex and officers found images of 51 women on his hard drive, with 19 victims, including 16 models and three escorts, agreeing to make statements against him.
Corbel, who resigned after being suspended by the Met, where he was attached to the Surveillance Continuing Improvement Command, pleaded guilty to 19 counts of voyeurism at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in September.
Judge Martin Edmunds QC jailed Corbel for a total of three years at Isleworth Crown Court on Friday for offenses committed between January 2017 and February 2020.
Get the latest updates from across Greater Manchester delivered straight to your inbox with the free MEN Newsletter
You can register very easily by following the instructions here
“He used a variety of tricks to induce women to remove their clothing in his presence so that he could record videos for his sexual gratification,” she told Corbel.
“You did it using multiple strategically placed covert cameras, sometimes as many as nine.”
The judge said the victims “had the right to personal autonomy” and each had set “clear boundaries.”
“Clearly you got satisfaction from breaking those boundaries by committing these crimes rather than seeking out people who could have offered you the opportunity to videotape them without deception,” he continued.
“You did not take advantage of your police role to locate or intimidate your victims, but it was something that was hidden from them.
“In addition, the covert recording devices he used appear to have been readily available for purchase on the Internet.
“There is no evidence that he used police equipment or specialized police knowledge.
“However, it is clear that the revelation to your victims that you were a serving police officer has severely undermined for many of them their trust in the police, something that for these people, given their various lines of work, is a particularly serious matter, as well as the disclosure of his offense should impact public confidence.”
Three of Corbel’s victims watched as he was jailed, having confronted him in court to read his victim impact statements.
One model, who agreed to pose for a “fashion and artistic nude shoot”, was visibly angry when she told Corbel that his crimes had “affected every aspect of my life”.
“I’ve pulled out so much hair from stress that I have bald spots and had to turn down work,” he said, showing his scalp to the court.
Other victims, who were not in court, cited the case of marketing executive Sarah Everard, 33, who was kidnapped off the street before being raped and murdered by Met Pc Wayne Couzens, 48.
“The fact that he’s a cop is a big deal,” said one. “These people are meant to protect us. After Sarah Everard’s murder, it seems like a very scary time to be a woman.”
Opening the case, prosecutor Babatunde Alabi said Corbel, from Hertfordshire, contacted the victims online using the name “Harrison”.
“He claimed to be an airline pilot who had an interest in photography,” he said.
“He recorded the victims using cameras disguised as everyday items, including phone chargers, tissue boxes, digital clocks, air fresheners and headphones.
“In addition, he also recorded the victims using a mobile phone and a DSLR camera with which he took pictures.”
Edward Henry QC, advocate, said former counter-terrorism officer Corbel felt “genuine remorse” for the “deplorable activity” but is voluntarily seeking to “combat” his sex addiction.
He said that Corbel, who had “incarcerated people who would have done terrible harm and caused a lot of bloodshed” during his 13-year career, spent no police money or committed crimes during his police time.
“He crossed the line from an addiction that can harm him to an addiction that caused these crimes at a time when he was under acute stress at work,” Mr. Henry said.
“It’s not a breach of trust in the actual commission of the crime, but obviously his victims found out, the discovery that he was a police officer would have naturally undermined their trust.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.