This offence involves the accused to have deliberately made, taken or permitted to be taken, distributed or showed indecent images or pseudo photograph of children.
Section 1 of the Protection of Children Act 1978: it is an offence for a person –
An allegation under this section can be dealt with in the magistrates or crown court. Upon conviction, the maximum sentence for making is 10 years imprisonment (offences committed on/after 11/01/01). However, the sentencing guidance equates making to that of possession. Ergo, 5 years.
Contact us - If you are worried that you might be arrested, under suspicion or investigation, we are specialist sexual offence solicitors, advising on these cases day in day out.
The most common offence is under section 160 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 ( s62 Coroners And Justice Act 2009 – ‘creates’ ):
Where a person is charged with an offence under subsection (1) above, it shall be a defence for him to prove -
An allegation under this section can be dealt with in the magistrates or most commonly in the crown court. Upon conviction, the maximum sentence is 5 years imprisonment (offences committed on/after 11/01/01).
Pseudo-photographs are defined as ‘an image, whether made by computer graphics or otherwise, which appears to be a photograph'. These are treated the same as an actual photograph Section 160 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 extended the offence to pseudo-photographs. Common names are:
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It is pornographic i.e: for the sole purpose of sexual arousal. It must be obscene, grossly offensive or disgusting.
The image focuses on the child’s anal or genital zones. It must portray any of the following:
In cases of publication or distribution, there may be the extremely rare offences under the Obscene Publications Act 1959. Excluded are works classified by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC).
There is a legitimate reason for being in possession of the image.
The computer / device in question was used by more than one person. The images were not viewed and their presence was unknown.
Temporary. Although viewed, the image(s) were sent via an unrequested email attachment and once discovered were not contained for an unreasonable time (e.g. found and deleted).
Pop-ups. When searching for adult pornography a pop-up emerges. Such pop-up images can then be stored on the computer as a temporary internet file. Probably legitimate but strictly limited reason for possessing the images in question. Often issues relating to allocated and non-allocated files.
The person has not seen the image and did not know or have cause to suspect they were prohibited images.
There are often several avenues to explore in relation to possible defences or mitigating factors for being found in possession of indecent images. We can instruct our own computer expert to examine and report on the police / prosecution expert’s findings. This often has an effect and we have successfully defended in crown court trials when disputing the prosecution case. Also, there are beneficial actions we can take on behalf of clients.
Historically known in the profession as the ‘Oliver Scale’ after the 2002 case of ‘Oliver’ and based on the originally therapeutic ‘Copine Scale’ from Eire. Images were graded on the following basis:
However, the above grades have been altered to A, B & C:
Category A is the most serious and includes images showing penetrative sexual activity with a child. This includes vaginal, anal or fellatio. Also images depicting sadism or sexual activity with an animal.
Category B involves non-penetrative sexual activity.
Category C includes other indecent images of children, such as erotic depictions. In this context we have had discussions with experienced officers on the naturist, historical art and “innocent” family images. It seems that there is some difference of opinion in this regard and especially throughout the different police forces we deal with on behalf of clients in England & Wales.
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I would have no hesitation in recommending GQS Solicitors to my family and friends. A proven track record in serious crime, “they successfully defended my mate G.R and he was acquitted of Murder
Dave Courtney O.B.E
Warwick Crown Court
I was charged with serious offences of Kidnap, Firearms and was at risk of receiving a lengthy prion sentence. Thanks to the hard work GQS put into my case, I was found not guilty.
Birmingham Crown Court [July 2017]
I would like to say a massive thank you for representation at the Crown Court. I was found not guilty after trial. Brilliant Team !!
Birmingham Crown Court- June 2017
I was found not guilty of a shooting that I did not commit. Thank you GQS for all your hard work from me and my family.
Birmingham Crown Court- January 2018
I was represented at the police station, thanks for the proper advise, no further action was taken against me.
Solihull Police Station. 7.01.18
My husband was expecting to go to prison for a Fraud offence, against all the odds the Judge went outside the sentencing guidelines and was gave him a suspended sentence. Thanks to the support and advice from GQS we can now carry on living with our lives.
Inner London Court 10.01.18