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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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There, If a revealing picture of a girl (bare chest)

Customer Question

hello there,
If a revealing picture of a girl (bare chest) is sent to the receiver willingly, the girl being 17, 3 weeks away from her 18th birthday, and the receiver then distributes this image to a closed group conversation, consisting of around 15 people, without any intention of causing distress to the sender, what realistically, are the legal consequences? Thank you
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.
Hello has a formal complaint been made about this?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
No, the female did not realise. The decision was quickly deeply regretted and covered up as best as possible.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
The reason for this was to avoid upsetting her and causing drama
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.
Has it been deleted?Does she now know?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
It cannot be completely deleted from the group chat unless all 16 people individually clear their message history. She still does not know. It's pretty much forgotten about.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.
The reality is that she was 17 and so underage for the purposes of this particular statute. There is an offence of possession of indecent images which might not have been prosecuted if he is of a similar age and it was sent voluntarily. However, if he distributed it to others then they would probably be keen to prosecute that I'm afraid. The consequence depends really. The distribution is too serious for a caution. If he is under 18 then the sentences are limited to the youth court options. Overall it would probably be a community order but the ancillary orders would include registration upon the sex offender's register. I would try to get this deleted if possible. You do nothing unlawful in that because there is no allegation at this stage. Can I clarify anything for you? Jo
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
does the fact she was 3 weeks from her 18th birthday not reduce the offense? What would be the likelihood of jail sentence following prosecution? what would the likelihood of becoming a registered sex offender be? Is there no chance the receiver would simply get away with a caution? Would the prosecution only occur if the sender contacted the authorities?
Thank you
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.
Not really. It is the distribution that is the problem.They are only going to prosecute if there is a complaint.There is prospect of a caution. This is distribution to 16 others.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
How likely is it that the receiver would become a registered sex offender if a complaint was made?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.
If he is over 18 then he will be added to the register.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69772
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
The girl now knows the situation. A sincere apology was given by the receiver. She has been forgiving, despite being upset, since the receiver demonstrated true remorse for his actions. Do you have any advice as to what the best thing for the receiver to do in this situation would be? Should he turn himself in for this offence, or just forget the whole situation?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.
No, absolutely do not hand himself in. There is no sense at all in walking into police stations and admitting offences that nobody has complained about. Do nothing. If the police are investigating then he will have to deal with it but that time hasnt come yet. I know this is hard to do emotionally. The emotion reaction is to go charging down to the police station and get it over with but from a risk management point of view this approach is much better.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for the advice. Is he guaranteed to be prosecuted if the police begin investigating? would they bother investigating such an issue without a complaint?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.
Well, it depends if they can find any evidence of it. If it is in digital form then I would be concerned they could pursue it without her complaint. Just do nothing.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
It is in a private conversation which they could only access by having access to somebodies private account who is a member of the conversation, and scrolling through messages for hours and hours to find it. The girl is also over 18 now so they would need to view the messages between the sender and receiver to find the date stamp on the messages, in order to prove she was very slightly under 18 in the pictures. Wouldn't they just think "stuff this, this isn't worth our time" the police are busy nowadays right?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.
They can get access to that, don't you worry.They will think nothing like this isn't worth their time. This will probably be the most serious case the station has seen for many months. You would not believe the mindless trivia that people report to the police.You report this, it will get top shelf priority.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
But if nobody reports it, do they have any reason to go snooping in peoples messages?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.
No, and they won't.But if he hands himself in they will.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
So just let everyone forget about it and it should all be forgotten about? I am also working on trying to get the indecent messages removed. Nobody has a reason to report it, I believe the receiver and I are the only ones aware that she was just barely underage in the pictures anyway. Also, thank you very much for your help and insight
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
There was several people in the group chat egging the receiver on to post these pictures by the way. Would that be considered, or is it totally irrelevant to the case?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.
If you can get it removed that will be helpful.You can't remove the fact that it was there but at least if it isn't sitting there it will be harder to prove.

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