Man sentenced for revenge porn has his appeal denied

27/08/2015

A man who was jailed for "revenge pornography" after he posted sexually explicit photographs on social media of a former girlfriend has lost his appeal against sentence.

David Jones, 53, of Mockbeggar Drive, Wallasey, posted 12 intimate pictures that had been taken around 20 years before. He created Facebook and twitter accounts in the victim's name as well as posting them to pornographic sites.

His victim, who does not wish to be identified, said she felt "complete terror" when the pictures appeared and "totally violated".

Jones pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to five counts of disclosing private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress and was jailed for 16 weeks by Liverpool magistrates on 18 August 2015.

His appeal was considered by the Recorder of Liverpool, HHJ Goldstone QC sitting with two magistrates on 25 August and refused.

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

Judge Goldstone made reference to Mr. Stephenson's comments at the appeal hearing.

He said: "This is an example of modern technology used irresponsibly by mischievous purveyors of evil. 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 is still relatively new and that the court must send a strong message to the public that such offending is extremely serious.

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

This is the first revenge pornography case in Merseyside.

In April 2015, the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 created a new criminal offence of Revenge Pornography, making 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.