Further to his previous article ‘Intimidatory Offences Sentencing Guidelines’ Naz Maqsoom of Kangs Solicitors now expands upon those new Guidelines specifically in respect of the offence of Disclosing Private Sexual Images (‘the offence’).
The Offence | Kangs Sexual Offences Defence Solicitors
The offence was created by section 33 Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 and is triable ‘either way’ which means it can be tried at a Magistrates’ Court or a Crown Court.
The maximum sentence which can be passed is two years imprisonment by a Crown Court.
Sentencing Considerations | Kangs Sentencing Guidelines Advisory Solicitors
The court should assess culpability and harm when sentencing and determining the category of the offence.
Culpability is split into three categories:
A – Higher Culpability: factors include:
- Conduct intended to maximise distress and /or humiliation
- Images circulated widely/publicly
- Significant planning and /or more sophisticated offence
- Repeated efforts to keep images available for viewing.
B – Medium Culpability: factors include:
- Some planning
- Scope and duration that falls between categories A and C
- All other cases that fall between categories A and C
C – Lesser Culpability: factors include:
- Little or no planning
- Offence was limited in scope and duration
- Conduct intended to cause limited distress and /or humiliation
- Offenders responsibility Substantially reduced by mental disorder or learning disability
Harm is split in to three categories.
Category 1: factors include:
- Very serious distress caused to the victim
- Significant psychological harm caused to the victim
- Offence has a considerable practical impact on victim
Category 2: factors include:
- Harm that falls between categories 1 and 3 and in particular:
- some distress caused to victim
- Some psychological harm caused to the victim
- Offence has some practical impact on the victim
Category 3: factors include:
- Limited harm or distress caused to the victim
Having determined the above, the court then has to consider the starting point for sentence, which applies to all offenders irrespective of plea or previous convictions, from the range of a discharge to one year six months in prison.
How Can We Assist? | Kangs National Criminal Defence Solicitors
Given the complexity of the new guidelines and sentencing options available it is essential that expert legal advice is sought whenever their implementation may be a cause for concern.
Kangs Solicitors have a wealth of knowledge and experience in dealing with matters involving the full range of sexual offences and defend clients facing such allegations throughout the country on a daily basis.
Should you require assistance please do not hesitate to contact our team through any one of the following who will be pleased to speak to you: