Warwick postgrad found guilty of ‘outraging public decency’
He used his phone to film up the skirts of female guests at a wedding reception
Collin Lieberg, 34, a third year PhD student at Warwick, has been found guilty of Outraging Public Decency.
He was caught photographing up women’s skirts at a friend’s wedding reception at the Oyster Shed pub near London Bridge in July last year.
Guests spotted his actions and can be seen on CCTV holding his mobile phone at hemline level and angling it under female guests’ skirts, the Old Bailey was told.
Lieberg denied using his phone for such purposes, saying he only used it to check Facebook, Twitter, and scores on a sports app.
He and his wife were among 140 guests at a wedding reception, having been invited by the bride, a fellow PhD student at the University of Warwick.
Judge Christine Henson QC indicated he would receive a community order, adjourning sentencing for a report to examine if Lieberg would benefit from a programme targeted at sex offenders’ rehabilitation.
She said: “This is clearly a serious matter. It is a huge violation of privacy of those individuals. A community order is no detraction from the serious matter.”
Originally from California, Lieberg is currently working on his PhD thesis exploring national identity in a musical context.
In defence of his behaviour, Lieberg blamed a long-time nervous twitch, made worse by alcohol.
He described himself and his wife as “socially awkward” and that he drank up to nine glasses of wine at the event.
Best man Leo Steele approached Lieberg at the reception about his behaviour, whom Lieberg described as “very confrontational”.
Lieberg also said he was threatened to be thrown in a river.
He told the jury: “It’s not something you get accused of every day. You don’t know how to respond to these things. It just seems a shocking allegation.”
When Steele asked Lieberg directly if he had been taking pictures up women’s skirts, Lieberg replied “possibly”, the court heard.
No pictures from the reception have been recovered from Lieberg’s phone.
The Old Bailey jury deliberated for a day before finding him guilty of outraging public decency by committing an “act of lewd, obscene and disgusting nature” by taking or attempting to take pictures with his mobile phone.