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Decision to Charge

Once the Police have completed their investigations, they will refer the case to the Crown Prosecution Service for advice on how to proceed. We will then make a decision on whether a suspect should be charged, and what that charge should be.

Find out more about private prosecutions

The Role of The Crown Prosecution Service

The Crown Prosecution Service is the government department responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales.

As the principal prosecuting authority in England and Wales, we are responsible for:

  • advising the police on cases for possible prosecution
  • reviewing cases submitted by the police
  • determining any charges in more serious or complex cases
  • preparing cases for court
  • presenting cases at court

Find out more about the role of the Crown Prosecution Service

CPS statement on Shane Webber


Frank Richardson, District Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service in Wessex said: "For more than a year Shane Webber had subjected his former girlfriend, Ruth Jeffery, to a campaign of harassment and humiliation by posting onto social networks intimate pictures of her. Webber made sure that these pictures were tagged so that Miss Jeffery's university friends and her family would receive a message alerting them that a picture has been sent to them. He also directly emailed those pictures to Miss Jeffery's parents, causing her and them immense distress as each time they tried to have the pictures removed, Webber had created a new website.

"Webber knew very well that he would be the first to be suspected as he was the one who took the pictures of Miss Jeffery when they were in a relationship. To prevent anyone having suspicions against him, he manipulated her into believing that the pictures were stolen after he had been the victim of computer hacking.

"It was not surprising that Miss Jeffery was extremely shocked and angry to learn that her former partner was, in fact, her stalker. Although Shane Webber has pleaded guilty and was sentenced today, she will still have to live with the fact that for a year she and her family felt powerless in trying to stop this persistent intrusion into her private life.

"The Crown Prosecution Service launched its legal guidance on stalking and harassment last year as we know that victims of stalking continue to live in fear of their stalkers, despite the fact that they may have been prosecuted.

"Effective restraining orders remain the best way to stop contact between the offender and the victim. This is why we have told the court today that Shane Webber should not communicate in any way with the victim and others related to her and that he should not display any material relating to her on any social networking sites.

"We hope that with this prosecution anyone who thinks that they may have been a victim of stalking will have the confidence that their complaint will be investigated and that, if there is sufficient evidence, will be prosecuted by the CPS.

"We hope that Miss Jeffery and her family will now be able to move on with their lives."