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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I am a male in my early twenties I had a girl message me on

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I am a male in my early twenties I had a girl message me on social media app. At first she stated she was 18 and then when i asked her about her age again she said she was 16. We talked a bit in sexual nature and then she sent me a topless picture and requested I send her an explicit photo to which I refused. I also told her she should not send these kinds of pictures on the internet to people. She asked me to remove the picture and I did straight away as I had no intention of keeping it.
Firstly if I requested this picture to start with can I get in trouble? In fact I was being sarcastic to her and before I could tell her to stop she sent it. I have read that in UK law it is illegal to send explicit images now of anyone under 18 even if they are of the age of consent. I did however not send anything and I deleted the image straight away.
Secondly is it even legal to talk to someone who is 16 in sexual nature?
Third I am worried that she may have lied about her age even being 16. If this is the case can I be in trouble? I don't even have the chat log anymore where i clearly asked her what her age was and she stated 16.
This single chat log was our only communication - if she reports me I assume she will need the whole conversation and so they can see that she said she was 16
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.
Did you request an explicit picture?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I did at first but only in a joke
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Well, you could.
It depends really.
As far as the legislation goes she is under 18 so technically a minor. It might have been hard to prove that she was under 18 but she has told you so it is game over.
You would have had the defences available to those who delete immediately but you did know how old she was.
If you don't press this any more it is quite unlikely that anything will happen. It depends really. There is a well known scam in the UK where people, usually in Nigeria, pretend to be a female and send an explicit photograph and then start blackmailing the recipient. If that happens don't send them money.
If it is genuine then it is very unlikely she will complain. In fairness, normal people do not go charging down to the police station to report every minor incident that happens to them. There are a small minority of professional victims who enjoy the attention but it is rare.
There is no offence in having a lewd conversation with a consenting 16 year old. If she is 16 then there cannot be a grooming issue.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
To be honest I asked to make a point to her, she kept flirting with me and already asked me for a picture and i refused. I decided to ask for the picture so when she would agree i would tell her no don't do it you are being stupid. I said to her "What are you actually taking the picture?" and she didn't respond and just sent it and then i panic and told her no you shouldnt have i was being sarcastic.Hmm I see - I did clearly ask "so are you actually 16" to which she responded "yes I am". Can there be any grooming offences put towards me if she lied and is actually under 16.To be honest when she sent the picture i told her straight away it was wrong and i would delete it - we agreed not to talk after that so I hope this is the end of it!If she does go to the police station what am i looking at in terms of sentencing?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Yes, but you would have the defence that you believed she was 16 which would be successful.
I'm not sure they would act against you if the conversation is as you say. Clearly a prosecution wouldn't be in the public interest but then they do bring prosecutions that are not. Nobody has the courage any more to tell a militant and unreasonable complainant that we are not wasting taxpayer's money on their malingering.
I would expect a fine or a conditional discharge actually but it is signing the sex offenders register that is not attractive. It might be worth contesting it. I'm sure a jury would let you off for this twaddle.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes I understand and she would need to provide the conversation to a court and they would see everything, which would prove everything I said.Am I correct in thinking if they were to prosecute, that the girl has actually committed an offence too by sending the image - she would have to be charged with sending the image and placed on the register as well?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
No. You commit the offence. The child does not.
I suppose you could argue there is an offence of incitement but it is never prosecuted.
Like underage sex. The adult commits the offence.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69516
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
wow that is surprising since i refused to send a photo and it was her sending but that is the law i guess
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your help i'll rate you fully helpful

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