Man sentenced for 'Revenge Porn' - Reading

01/09/2015

A man, believed to be the first in the country to be convicted of the new offence of ‘revenge porn,’ has today, Tuesday, 01 September 2015, appeared at Reading Magistrates’ Court for sentence.

Jason Asagba, aged 21, of Chadwell Heath Lane, Romford, was charged with the offence of disclosing sexual photographs and films on 15 May 2015, and pleaded guilty the following day.

He was sentenced today to six months' imprisonment, suspended for 18 months.  He is also required to carry out 100 hours of unpaid community work, attend a Probation Service behaviour programme and pay £300 costs.

Asagba has also been made the subject of a four year restraining order where he is not to contact the victim, or her family, or go to the victim's home or anywhere where she may reside.

On 16 April, which was only three days after the offence legislation came into force, Asagba threatened to post intimate pictures of a woman from Reading on social media.  He subsequently posted the images on Facebook and sent them to members of the victim's family.

Alison Saunders, Director of Public Prosecutions for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said: "Revenge pornography is a particularly distressing crime for the victim, which is often, but not always, brought about by the vengeful actions of former partners. It is a violation of trust between two people and its purpose is to publicly humiliate.

"Prior to the new law, crimes were dealt with by using other areas of legislation such as the Malicious Communications Act 1988. I am pleased that these crimes can now be prosecuted as an offence in their own right, reassuring victims that it is a recognised offence and it is being taken seriously by the authorities.

"The new offence has only been in force since April. Therefore, it is too early for us to be able to say what impact this is having on the number of prosecutions. However, anecdotally we are seeing more of these cases being brought to us by the police and it is clear that the new legislation is having an impact. I am pleased that awareness of these cases of revenge pornography is growing so victims come forward to report these nasty crimes and prosecutions are brought where we have sufficient evidence.

"Within the CPS I am ensuring that all relevant staff have the most up to date guidance, and the benefit of learning from their colleagues, so we have circulated details of case studies we now have to help improve our expertise in using the new legislation."

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Steven Rose said: "This was very upsetting and distressing for the victim. However, with the conviction and sentencing of Asagba I hope she can put this episode behind her.

"These new powers allow police and the courts to deal with anyone found committing these type of offences.

"Thames Valley Police takes this crime extremely seriously and will investigate all such reports. I would like to thank all those officers and staff who have worked on this investigation, as well as the Crown Prosecution Service for bringing the case to court."