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Revenge Porn Defence Solicitors

The Legislation

Section 33 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 provides that:

(1) It is an offence for a person to disclose a private sexual photograph or film if the disclosure is made:

  • without the consent of an individual who appears in the photograph or film, and
  • with the intention of causing that individual distress.

The Offence In Detail

A person will only be guilty of the offence if the reason, or one of the reasons, for disclosing the photograph is to cause distress to the person depicted in the photograph or film.

Anyone who passes on, without consent of the depicted individual, any such photograph or film, such as by, for example, re-tweeting would be committing an offence if the purpose, or one of the purposes, was to cause distress to that individual.

Anyone who passes the message on simply because he or she thought it was funny, and without any intent to cause distress, would not be committing the offence.

The offence applies to any kind of disclosure of private sexual photographs or films such as, for example:

  • uploading images on the internet,
  • sharing by text or e-mail, or
  • showing someone a physical image.

The offence applies equally online and offline and to images which are shared by electronic means or in a more traditional way.

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The photograph or film has to be private and sexual and could include:

  • an image depicting an individual’s exposed genitals,
  • a picture of someone who engaged in sexual behaviour or posing in a sexually provocative way, if what is shown is not of a kind ordinarily seen in public.

An image of exposed genitals or pubic area would automatically be regarded as sexual because this part of the body is considered to be so intimate.

Photographs or films depicting other types of nakedness or areas of the body would be caught by the offence if they meet the definition of private and sexual.

What Defences Are Available?

The following defences may be available where:

  1. the photograph or film is only disclosed to the individual who appears in it;
  2. the disclosure was necessary for the investigation, prevention or detection of crime;
  3. the material was disclosed in the course of the publication of journalistic material so long as the person concerned reasonably believed that the publication was in the public interest;
  4. it is reasonably believed that the material was previously disclosed for reward and that there is no reason to believe that the reward was made without the individuals consent;
  5. the disclosure of a photograph or film was not made with the intention of causing distress even though that was a natural and probable consequence.

The Court Procedure

The section 66 and 67 offences , are ‘either way’ offences meaning that they can be dealt with in either the Magistrates’ or the Crown Court. The maximum sentence available is that given in the Crown Court, being a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years.

The Section 71 offence is a ‘summary’ only offence, meaning that it can only be dealt with in the Magistrates’ Court where the maximum sentence is one of six months imprisonment and/ or a level 5 fine.

Who Can I Contact For Advice & Help?

It is imperative that you instruct an experienced solicitor as soon as you are made aware of an allegation being made.

Crucially, it is always important to have a solicitor present in interview at the police station whether it is an interview by appointment or under arrest.

Contact

Hamraj Kang
hkang@kangssolicitors.co.uk
07976 258171 | 020 7936 6396 | 0121 449 9888

Helen Holder
hholder@kangssolicitors.co.uk
0121 449 9888 | 07989 521210

Birmingham

34 St Paul's Square,
Birmingham, B3 1QZ

0121 449 9888

London

Level 1, Devonshire House, One Mayfair Place
Mayfair, London, W1J 8AJ

020 7936 6396

Manchester

76 King Street
Manchester, M2 4NH

0161 817 5020