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Examples of Indecent Images Cases and Outcomes

Indecent Images Case Examples

If you or someone you care about has been charged with Indecent Images offences, it stands to reason that you might be curious about other Indecent Images cases. In particular, you might be interested in knowing what past cases were about, and how guilty parties were punished.

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Being accused of a crime that involves indecent images can be a shocking experience. It is one that is likely to unsettle you and make you extremely worried about the impact that it might have on your personal and professional life, and the lives of those you care about. If you are facing an indecent images offence, read on to learn more about what the offence is and how other cases in this category have been treated by the courts. This might help to settle your mind and prepare you to mount a defence with the assistance of your solicitor.

What is an indecent images offence?

Because of the fact that indecent images often involve children and other vulnerable individuals, the law treats indecent images very seriously. A number of indecent images offences exist, and they are dealt with by different laws, including the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act of 2008. Some of the more common indecent images offences include:

  • Extreme pornography
  • Indecent photographs of children
  • Private images (also known as ‘revenge porn’)

Again, because of the fact that vulnerable people are involved in indecent images offences, the police are readily able to obtain a warrant to search your house and cease your possessions, which will likely include your phone, laptop, tablets, and any storage devices such as hard drives and USB sticks. The police may even look into your correspondence with other people, including text messages and emails, to try to ascertain whether you have committed this crime as part of a broader scheme that may be putting other people at risk.

Indecent images case examples

Case Details Judgment Date Sentence Link to Transcript
Opening emails that the viewer knows to contain indecent images 07/03/2002 2 years’ probation Court Transcript
Possession of deliberately edited slow motion video footage of a naked child 30/07/2004 3 months’ imprisonment Court Transcript
Taking indecent images of children 11/03/2015 1 year’s imprisonment Court Transcript
Disclosing a private sexual image with intent to cause distress 07/03/2018 4 months’ imprisonment Court Transcript
Possession of unsolicited images showing sexual acts being committed on an animal 03/03/2016 Acquitted Court Transcript
Possession of extreme pornography involving an animal 21/12/2011 6 months’ imprisonment Court Transcript
Possession of pornographic pseudo-photographs of children 25/01/2017 1 year’s imprisonment  

Court Transcript


Indecent image cases defended by Stuart Miller Solicitors

Stuart Miller Solicitors has earned a robust reputation for successfully defending indecent images cases. We have a number of sexual offences and cybercrime solicitors on our team who specialise in this area of law, and they consistently deliver results to our clients – many of whom have been falsely accused of this offence. Examples include:

  • A man who denied intentionally distributing indecent images of children had that aspect of the case against him dropped after one of our solicitors challenged the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to prove that the images alleged to have been distributed were indeed indecent, and they failed to do so.
  • A man who was voluntarily questioned by Scotland Yard for possessing indecent images of children was found to have such images, but the case against him was made out by the detectives to be considerably worse than it was. After great efforts on the part of Stuart Miller Solicitors – including securing data experts and arguing extensively for mitigating factors to be considered in his sentencing – the defendant managed to avoid an immediate prison term and was, instead, given a suspended sentence.

What are the sentencing guidelines for indecent images offences?

Sentences for indecent images depend on the severity of the indecency shown in the images and on the type of offence. In general, the more images that are possessed and the more severe the depiction of indecency in those images, the more severe the punishment will be. As a result, different categories attract different punishments:

  • A Category A image is likely to result in being given a prison sentence, and sentences typically range between 6 months and 36 months.
  • A Category B image is likely to result in being a sentence between 6 months of community service to 18 months’ imprisonment.
  • A Category C image is likely to result in being given a community order but could extend to 6 months’ imprisonment.

Other offences, for example, revenge porn, may also be punished by an unlimited fine as well as up to 2 years’ imprisonment.

Depending on the type of offence for which you are convicted, you may be added to the ‘sex offenders register’ and you may have conditions place on your release, which might include having to report to the police station and having to observe a curfew.

Read more about indecent images sentencing.

What are possible defences for indecent images offences?

If you are taken to a police station immediately upon arrest for an indecent images offence, the first thing you should do is request a visit from a solicitor. Thereafter, you will be able to discuss with your solicitor potential defences to what you have been charged with. When you do speak to your solicitor, make sure that you include all details about the situation and be 100% honest. It may be a very difficult situation for you to talk about, and if you have been involved you may be extremely ashamed and embarrassed, but it is best that your solicitor knows all the details so that they can properly prepare your defence.

Possible defences for indecent images offences include:

  • Lack of awareness. With this defence, you argue that you had not seen the images and did not know that the images were in your possession. For example, if you are the victim of a cyber-attack that involves the placing of indecent images on your device, then you may be able to rely on this defence. You cannot use this defence to say that you were unaware that the images that you did possess were indecent.
  • Involuntary possession. You could involuntarily possess an indecent image if someone sends it to you without you making any prior request for the material, and if you do not keep that image for an unreasonable amount of time. If, for example, somebody sends you the image and you keep it on your phone or laptop for several days, there is no real reason for you to process it and accordingly you may not be able to rely on the defence. If, however, you delete the image straight away, that shows that you did not intend to possess the image and accordingly this defence may help you.
  • Legitimate reason. This means that you had a bona fide reason for having the images in your possession. This defence, however, only really applies to lawyers, police officers, and others who may be in the possession of indecent images as part of the ordinary course of duties of their job.

In addition to these special offences are a series of general defences that relate to the person accused and not to the specific circumstances of the crime itself. These include:

  • Duress. The defence of duress covers situations where a person was forced by another person or by a set of circumstances to commit an offence. If the court is satisfied that you reasonably feared death or serious injury if you did not possess the images for whatever reason, then they may allow the defence.
  • Mistake. If you were mistaken as to certain circumstances and would not have committed the offence if you knew the full details of your situation, you may be able to rely on the defence of mistake. In the context of indecent images offences, this might apply if, for example, you downloaded a file thinking that it was something other than indecent images and you would have never downloaded the file if you knew what it contained.
  • Insanity. If due to mental illness you were unable to understand that what you were doing was against the law, the defence of insanity may apply. While in many cases it may be quite easy to argue the defence of insanity, you should be aware that a result of this defence being successful is detention under the Mental Health Act of 1983.

Read more about potential defences to indecent images offences.

How can I get further help?

If you or someone you care about needs additional assistance with an indecent images case, get in touch with the team at Stuart Miller Solicitors today. Our group of expert criminal defence solicitors are friendly and non-judgmental, and will be able to advise you on how best to defend your case if it ultimately goes to court. They will also be able to advise you on the best ways to deal with the fallout from being accused of something like this, which may help you to get your life back on track.

(This page was last updated on November 28, 2023.)


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