A predator who set up a bogus market research business for high street fashion companies to sexually assault seven female models has been jailed.

Connor Morris, 26, created the company with fake employees and even hired premises at great financial expense to carry out the elaborate and disgusting scam.

He lured his victims to the hired work space by advertising on Facebook and Snapchat for models aged 18-30.

He paid them £150 each to take part in 'data research' he said was to improve sizing for companies like Asos, Pretty Little Things, Boohoo, Oh Polly and Love Honey.

His victims could earn an extra £50 if they agreed to a 'muscle analysis' which required them to strip and let him measure their bodies.

It was an 'elaborate confidence trick' just so he could grope their breasts and touch their bottoms.

Dorset Echo: Connor MorrisConnor Morris (Image: BNPS)

Morris, who worked as a leisure centre lifeguard, also set up hidden cameras in the Branksome Consulting Centre in Poole, to film the women in a state of undress.

Two of the victims came out of the meeting and agreed the experience had been 'really weird' and decided to go to the police.

Devices were seized from Morris' home and 32 images of young women taken without their knowledge were found.

Police tracked down seven different victims who had been 'violated' by Morris.

He initially denied taking any sexual gratification out of the process and told police he had planned to contact the companies and see if they wanted to purchase the data he had obtained.

He eventually admitted nine charges of sexual assault and three counts of voyeurism between June and July 2020.

He was jailed for three-and-a-half years at Bournemouth Crown Court, a sentence described as 'absolutely disgusting' by one of his victims.

Charles Gabb, prosecuting, said Morris told the owners of the business centre that he needed space for legitimate purposes, namely lifeguard refresher training.

He said emails were sent to his potential victims from a fictitious Sophie Parnell representing Connor Morris Group Ltd.

Mr Gabb said: "The defendant used pseudonyms, creating a fake business with fake members of staff and said he was working in partnership with companies like Asos, Pretty Little Things, Boohoo, Oh Polly and Love Honey.

"It was a truly elaborate set up of deception. He said he was carrying out research and offering them money to have various body measurements taken.

"He also asked if they would agree to be paid extra for him to apply pressure to various body parts for muscle analysis.

"Emails were sent from a Sophie Parnell at Connor Morris Group Ltd - she was fiction, she never existed. It was all done to give the air of credibility.

"He touched the breasts and/or bottoms, often skin-to-skin and observed them topless.

"These companies have all been contacted and it is all rubbish, quite simply nothing like that ever existed, the whole thing was a complete scam."

Speaking of one victim, Mr Gabb said: "She said she felt he had dragged the process out to keep her topless for longer. She felt uncomfortable throughout but trusted the defendant and thought of him as a close friend."

Reading from victim impact statements, the young women described feeling sick and disgusted, suffering trust issues and even PTSD, with some undergoing counselling.

One said: "It mortifies me to think the level of thought he has gone through to carry out this assault on me."

The court heard Morris, who was 22 at the time the offending started, had no previous convictions.

Lauren Hebditch, defending, said Morris, of West Street in Wareham, led a 'fairly isolated life', only had a small circle of friends, had been bullied at school and had only ever had one relationship.

She said he has been diagnosed as autistic and had taken a number of steps independently to address his offending including sessions with a specialist sexual psychotherapist.

She said: "He wholeheartedly accepts his action, he expresses regret, remorse and shame for all his actions. He said he caused a ripple of harm that spread across many different individuals."

Judge Jonathan Fuller said: "The victims' personal statements all talk of violation, disgust and being exposed.

"They all speak of a betrayal of trust that has had a lasting impact on them.

"This was an elaborate and determined effort (from you) to seek gratification both through voyeurism and sexual assault, under the guise of a legitimate examination.

"The effect on any reasonable person was humiliation."

After the sentencing, one of the victims slammed the judges sentence which they said was 'too lenient'.

The victim said they would consider appealing the sentence so it could be made more severe.

She said: "Connor Morris groomed me and he betrayed my trust.

"He violated our bodies. He is vile.

"The sentence is absolutely disgusting and he will be out of jail in less than two years.

"What kind of message does that send about sexually assaulting multiple women?

"It almost says that it is ok to do it.

"To give such a light sentence with the number of victims shows that the justice system needs addressing.

"We (the victims) are going to appeal the sentence."