According to the NSPCC, the number of reported cases of child sexual abuse in the UK rose by almost a third last year. It states that it referred an average of ninety calls a week to police and social services and it made more than four thousand six hundred referrals last year.
Against the background of such statistics, Cagin Husnu of Kangs Solicitors explores the legislation controlling the illegal possession and distribution of indecent images.
The Law | Kangs Indecent Images Trial Solicitors
Section 160 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 and section 1 of the Protection of Children Act 1978 criminalises being in possession of and distributing indecent images of children.
Section 160 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 states that:
“It is an offence for a person to have any indecent photograph (or pseudo-photograph) of a child in his possession.”
- the offence is committed by possession of an indecent image, even if it has been created through computer graphics or any other means, if it has the appearance of a photograph.
The following defences may be available:
- the person had a legitimate reason for having the image in his possession;
- the person had not seen the photograph and did not know/suspect the image to be indecent; or
- the photograph was received by him, without prior request, and it was not kept in his possession for an unreasonable time.
A person convicted of this offence faces five years imprisonment.
Section 1 of the Protection of Children Act 1978 states that:
“It is an offence for a person to
- take, or permit to be taken, or to make, an indecent photograph or pseudo-photograph of a child;
- to distribute or show indecent photographs/pseudo-photographs;
- have in their possession indecent images/pseudo-images with a view that they be distributed or shown by himself or others; or
- to publish an advertisement likely to be construed by other offenders as being one which shows that the advertiser intends to distribute the indecent images or that he intends to do so.”
There are defences available to those charged with an offence under section (b) or (c), namely that they had a legitimate reason for distributing/showing the images in their possession or that they had not seen the images themselves and had no suspicion or knowledge that they were of an indecent nature.
A person convicted of this offence faces a maximum sentence of ten years imprisonment.
How Can We Help You? | Kangs Sexual Offences Defence Solicitors
It is of the utmost importance that you instruct experienced solicitors from the moment that you are aware of such allegations being made and that you are accompanied by a solicitor at interview.
We provide a discreet and confidential service.
To discuss any allegation relating to indecent images or any other sexual offence please feel free to contact our Team through any of the following: