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Appeal against revenge porn conviction rejected (30 September 2015)

Date: 30/09/2015
Duncan Lewis, Legal News Solicitors, Appeal against revenge porn conviction rejected

A man who appealed his sentence for a conviction for revenge porn has lost his appeal.

David Jones, 53, from Wallasey on Merseyside was convicted on revenge porn charges after he posted 12 intimate pictures of a former girlfriend online, which had been taken around 20 years previously.

Jones created Facebook and twitter accounts in the victim's name – as well as posting the images on pornographic sites.

His victim – who does not wish to be identified – said that she felt “complete terror” when the pictures were published online, as well as “totally violated”.

In what was the first revenge pornography case on Merseyside, Jones had pleaded guilty to five counts of disclosing private sexual photographs and films, with intent to cause distress.

At a later hearing on 18 August 2015, he and was jailed for 16 weeks by Liverpool magistrates.

His appeal was considered by the Recorder of Liverpool, HHJ Goldstone QC sitting with two magistrates later that month and has been refused.

District Crown Prosecutor Michael Stephenson prosecuted the case for Mersey-Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service.

At the appeal hearing, Judge Goldstone made reference to Mr Stephenson's comments during the trial.

“This is an example of modern technology used irresponsibly by mischievous purveyors of evil,” he told the appeal hearing.

“No one doing this is unaware of the psychological harm it can cause or how long it may last. As Mr Stephenson observed, 'the genie is out of the bottle'.”

The Recorder also observed that the offence was “still relatively new” –
and that the court must send a strong message to the public that such offending was “extremely serious”.

He added that the sentence handed out by the District Judge had got the balance right between the public interest in punishment and deterrence –
and the private circumstances of the defendant.

The Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 created a new criminal offence of Revenge Pornography in April 2015.

The Act made it a criminal offence to disclose private sexual photographs and films without the consent of an individual who appears in them and with the intent to cause that individual distress.

The new law which applies to England and Wales defines revenge porn as, “photographs or films which show people engaged in sexual activity or depicted in a sexual way or with their genitals exposed, where what is shown would not usually be seen in public”.

Duncan Lewis Crime Lawyers

Duncan Lewis crime lawyers can advise at any stage of a criminal charge involving sexual offences such as rape, sexual assault, child abuse, child sexual exploitation, revenge porn – and making, distributing or downloading indecent images.

There are Duncan Lewis offices nationwide – and Duncan Lewis can also advise on appeals against conviction and sentencing, as well as Parole Board applications.

For expert legal advice on criminal charges – including sexual offences – call Duncan Lewis crime lawyers on 020 7923 4020.

For 24/7 help at a police station, call the Duncan Lewis Emergency Hotline on 020 7275 2036.

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