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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70008
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My nephew uses the 'Kik messenger' ap and recently had a chat

Resolved Question:

My nephew uses the 'Kik messenger' ap and recently had a chat with a girl. He told me you had to click a box to confirm you were 17+ years to use the site, and he therefore believed everyone using the site would be at least 17 years old. During a 'conversation' with a girl, she asked him to send her a photo of himself - he stupidly sent an image of his genitals. She then asked for a photo showing his face and asked how old he was - he confirmed he was 20 years old and asked how old the girl was. She replied 'much younger than that' - at which point my nephew apologised, she replied it was fine and they ceased communication. My nephew has not been near the site since! However he is wracked with thoughts of how old the girl was, and if he is liable to any type of prosecution due to him sending an indecent image to someone younger than 17 years of age. He does not know how old the girl was - but as she was using the Kik site, he believed she was an adult.
Can you advise if sites such as this are monitored - or if the girl did complain about the image she received, would my nephew be liable to any type of legal action, even though he was using a site where you have to confirm you are 17 years of age and above to access it, and therefore believed he was communicating with another consenting adult?
I would be most grateful for your advice, as my nephew is frantic with worry about his stupid actions.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
How old is he?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

20 years old

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
It is quite unlikely anything will come of this. It will only be an issue if she complains.
I think anybody would accept that he was entitled to take the view that everybody on the site was over 17. Of course, there are offences covering indecent images that do define a child as anybody under 18 but I think a proper jury would accept that there was no reason to think she was a child. Anyway jurors don't think 17 year olds are children so I wouldn't worry. Whatever nonsense Harriet Harman comes up with there is nothing she can do about the common sense of the jury who ultimately make the decision and not her and her rabid friends.
There are other offences though that do cover sending indecent images even to adults unless they consent which she did not really on these facts. They are a lot less serious and might well just result in a caution or a fixed penalty for something under the communication legislation.
Unless he actually sent an image of his face I'm not sure how they would identify him anyway. It depends how much information you have to give when you sign up for the site. There would be methods of tracking him down but the police only have finite resources to devote to crime detection and this is not crime of the century.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70008
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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