The Sexual Offences Act and the Howard League Report

Andy Cave appearing in Cambridge Magistrates Court on the 12 February successfully persuaded the court that a Prison sentence for a 17 year old boy, who had pleaded guilty to inciting a 15 year old girl to undertake sex acts and send pictures over 'snapchat' was not the right sentence. 

The case involved two teenagers meeting over the Internet and exchanging photos. The male, who can not be identified due to his age, then used those pictures which were sent with consent to coerce the teenage girl to send more explicit ones with the threat of publication of the earlier pictures over social media. 

District Judge Sheraton when passing sentence agreed that the services offered in Prison were not likely to assist this young man to rehabilitate. The young man of previous good character had clearly shown a sexual immaturity, and had not appreciated the seriousness of his actions

This case coincided with the Howard League Report which confirmed the mitigation put forward by Mr Cave and the sentencing remarks of the judge. 

Andy Cave comments “The Sexual Offences Act is a complicated piece of legislation and the laws do not always follow common sense. For example it is perfectly legal for a male to have a consensual sexual relationship with a girl over 16. However if that girl gives/sends an explicit/naked picture of herself to her boyfriend and he has it on his phone for example, then he is committing the offence of having an indecent image of a minor (under 18) in his possession and is guilty of an offence which can carry a prison sentence and registration on the sex offenders register”. 

New legislation regarding 'revenge porn' was only brought into force on 11 February 2015 and this case is highly pertinent. People need to be extremely careful when using any device/social media in relation to sexual content as they may well commit an offence unknowingly

If you have been accused of a sexual offence Hunt and Coombs solicitors have a team of experienced lawyers able to expertly advise you through this difficult and complex area of law. Please contact: 

Andy Cave direct via
Simon Milburn direct via
Or call our Peterborough Office on 01733 882800 

Article by Andy Cave

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This article has been prepared for general interest and information purposes only; it does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. While all possible care has been taken in the preparation of this article, no responsibility for the accuracy and/or correctness of the information and commentary set out in the article, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed or accepted by the firm or the authors.