Distributing an Intimate Image Without Consent & Revenge Porn Offences NSW

 

A jilted woman from Scarborough, North Yorkshire in the United Kingdom has been sentenced to jail after she shared a naked photo of a man who she had sex with to her 1,300 followers on Instagram.

Yasmin Walker, 30, faced York Crown Court on Thursday 1st April 2021 where it was heard she uploaded the intimate picture to her social media after her ex-lover explained that he just wanted to be friends with her following a short-term fling.

According to reports from local media outlet, The Scarborough News, it is understood Ms Walker shared a snap of the man’s private parts on Instagram against a jeering caption containing three laughing emojis.

The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was visiting the cinema when he was unexpectedly sent a screenshot of the post.

The man immediately “begged” the woman to take down the image, however, it took him threatening her to go to the police before she finally did.

Inside the court, Prosecutor Lewis Allan Kerr said, “The screenshot was of a naked image of him and posted onto (Walker’s) Instagram account”.

“In her case, she had 1,300 followers. The image had been online for 11 minutes,” Prosecutor Kerr added, acknowledging the followers would have been able to freely see the “revenge porn” snap on the public forum.

Ms Walker Says She Posted Intimate Image by Mistake Due to Lost Vision in Her Eye

In defence, Ms Walker said she had posted the picture by mistake, while her lawyer, Graham Parkin, cited the fact that she had lost vision in one of her eyes in the aftermath of an assault in a former abusive relationship in which she was beaten so badly that the offender was sentenced to 12.5 years in jail.

Mr Parkin also said his client had been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder that stemmed from this abusive relationship and had has a “huge adverse effect” on her.

But that was not convincing for Judge Sean Morris, the Recorder of York, who discarded her assertion that her reduced vision had led her to “click the wrong button” by accident and make the photo public.

In fact, Judge Morris went on to emphasise that her sustained denial of the offence did not hold a “smack of remorse”.

Ms Walker was jailed for three months for the offence, having been found guilty of disclosing a private sexual photo with intent to cause distress.

In handing down the verdict, Judge Morris said the sentence sends a strong message that “revenge pornography means prison”.

“You disclosed, for countless people to see, a personal and very intimate photograph with a sarcastic comment next to it,” Judge Morris said.

“That was sent to him when he was in the cinema… and he had to beg you to take it down.

“I’m afraid that this kind of crime needs to be deterred because cyber-crime of this type, that causes people to have their most intimate details splashed around the world, have devastating effects on people, and the public need to know that this kind of crime is serious.”

Judge Morris added to this that while he acknowledged the woman has her own problems, she knows right from wrong.

“You have got your own problems,” the judge said.

“You have been in abusive relationships… but you know right from wrong.

“This kind of behaviour has to be deterred.

“It’s going to be a short, sharp shock so that people know revenge pornography means prison.”

Ms Walker is currently serving half of her three-month sentence in prison.

She will then be allowed to be released on licence.

It is understood Ms Walker’s sentence was reduced to a few months due to her efforts to beat her cannabis addiction and seek help for her problems.

Ms Walker has four previous convictions for offences including threatening behaviour, battery and drink-driving.

Distributing an Intimate Image Without Consent & Revenge Porn Offences NSW

Distributing an intimate image without consent – otherwise referred to as “revenge porn” – is a serious criminal offence and a problem that is on the rise in Australia and even doubled over the past two years, according to research carried out Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) and Monash University.

In fact, in the wide-ranging 2017 study that involved an analysis of over 4,200 Australians, it was found that one in five Australians fall victim to revenge porn, while one in three between the ages of 16 and 19 report the highest rate of abuse.

The study also revealed that those most at risk of becoming victims of revenge porn are disabled and indigenous people.

Equally at risk are those who are willing to share sexual selfies.

In NSW, the penalties are harsh for distributing an image without consent.

In fact, if you are caught distributing an intimate image without consent, you can face a maximum penalty of a $11,000 fine and/or three years in jail, as per section 91Q of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

According to section 91Q, a person is guilty of distributing an image without consent where they intentionally distribute an intimate image of another person:

  • without the consent of the person, and
  • knowing the person did not consent to the distribution or being reckless as to whether the person consented to the distribution.

Here is more on applying to the court to remove an intimate image.

By Sahar Adatia.

About Criminal Defence Lawyers Australia

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