INDECENT PHOTOGRAPHS OF CHILDREN

[2019] EWCA Crim 2004

[2019] EWCA Crim 2004
CA (Crim Div) (Thirlwall LJ, Yip J, Judge Sloan QC)
7 November 2019

An order under the Mental Health Act 1983 s.41 restricting the discharge of an offender detained in hospital under s.37 for 14 offences involving indecent images of children was not justified. In his particular circumstances, the offences did not in themselves give rise to a future risk of serious harm to the public, his previous convictions were relatively minor, and he had been at large in the community since those convictions for over two years without exhibiting any violence or threats of violence.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1538

[2019] EWCA Crim 1538
CA (Crim Div) (Gross LJ, Stuart-Smith J)
3 September 2019

A sentence of 16 months’ imprisonment imposed on a man in his early 20s who had shared indecent images of children with workmates on a building site, but had done so for shock value and had no unhealthy interest in children, was suspended on appeal. An immediate custodial sentence was disproportionate where the possession and distribution had been limited, he had acted out of extreme stupidity, was of previous good character and where his mother was dependent on him financially and as her carer.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1961

[2019] EWCA Crim 1961
CA (Crim Div) (Haddon-Cave LJ, Farbey J, Judge Molyneux)
30 July 2019

Where a woman had sent a video depicting sexual abuse to a child to three people allegedly as a warning from a concerned parent, the judge had correctly directed the jury that there were two separate questions to consider: whether her reason for holding and distributing the video was a genuine and truthful one, and if so, whether that reason was legitimate. He had been right to make it clear that the genuineness of her belief was irrelevant when considering the second question.

[2019] EWCA Crim 466

[2019] EWCA Crim 466
CA (Crim Div) (Thirlwall LJ, Sweeney J, Sir Brian Keith)
19 March 2019

Total sentences of six years and nine months’ imprisonment and six years’ imprisonment imposed on a male and female offender respectively following guilty pleas to child sex offences were lenient, but not unduly lenient. The female offender had sent the male offender images of her and her daughter, aged between two and six, engaging in sexual activity. The offending had been rightly categorised in Category 2A of the relevant guideline and the judge’s approach to sentencing was not flawed.

[2019] EWCA Crim 447

[2019] EWCA Crim 447
CA (Crim Div) (Bean LJ, Sir David Calvert-Smith, Judge Adele Williams QC)
15 March 2019

A judge had been entitled to refuse severance of an indictment, meaning that an offender was tried for historic and recent counts of child sexual offences at the same time. The Criminal Procedure Rules 2015 r.3.21(4)(a) had removed the technical barriers to joinder in appropriate cases: where evidence on one count would be properly admissible on the other as evidence of bad character it was hard to argue that the offender would be prejudiced in his defence by having both counts on the same indictment. In the instant case, the recent counts would have been admissible as bad character evidence at the offender’s trial on the historic counts and vice versa.

[2019] EWCA Crim 234

[2019] EWCA Crim 234
CA (Crim Div) (Thirlwall LJ, McGowan J, Judge Dhir)
26 February 2019

The terms of a sexual offences prevention order imposed on an offender who had been sentenced for voyeurism, which included an almost blanket ban on using the internet, were changed where its terms did not conform to the guidance given in R. v Smith (Steven) [2011] EWCA Crim 1772, [2012] 1 W.L.R. 1316, [2011] 7 WLUK 542 with the result that it was unworkable and disproportionate.

[2019] EWCA Crim 788

[2019] EWCA Crim 788
CA (Crim Div) (Irwin LJ, Lambert J, Sir Kenneth Parker)
21 February 2019

The court upheld a sexual harm prevention order, imposed for an indefinite duration, where an offender had received concurrent suspended prison sentences of 18 months after pleading guilty to three offences of possession of indecent photographs of a child and one offence of possessing an extreme pornographic image. Although the order had been imposed in circumstances which were far from satisfactory because the judge had not given explicit reasons to support the making of an indefinite order, the offender had given no indication whatsoever that he would address his offending behaviour and its causes. An order for an indefinite duration was necessary and proportionate.

[2019] EWCA Crim 2119

[2019] EWCA Crim 2119
CA (Crim Div) (Simon LJ, McGowan J, Judge Burbidge QC)
16 January 2019

A prohibition in a sexual harm prevention order preventing the appellant from communicating with children via the internet was not necessary and should be deleted from the order. The offending for which he had been sentenced was the viewing of indecent images of children over a considerable period of time, but his offending never went further than the downloading and observational viewing of those images.

[2018] EWCA Crim 2537

[2018] EWCA Crim 2537
CA (Crim Div) (Sir Brian Leveson PQBD, Jeremy Baker J, Goss J)
25 October 2018

Following the appellant’s retrial for sexual offences, the judge had been correct to impose a special sentence of custody for offenders of particular concern. However, the term imposed, namely a custodial term of 16 years and an extended licence period of one year, contravened the Criminal Appeal Act 1968 Sch.2 para.2(1) because it was “of greater severity” than the 17-year sentence imposed at the original trial. That was because of the release regime applicable to offenders who were subject to a special sentence of custody for offenders of particular concern.

[2018] EWCA Crim 2514

[2018] EWCA Crim 2514
CA (Crim Div) (Holroyde LJ, King J, Judge Cutler)
16 October 2018

A judge had had insufficient regard to totality when imposing consecutive extended sentences totalling 38 years on a prolific sex offender who had pleaded guilty to committing 137 offences over the course of 10 years. A large number of the offences involved the deliberate targeting of vulnerable children on the internet, persuading them to provide him with naked images of themselves and blackmailing them to provide increasingly graphic and humiliating images of them taking part in degrading acts. An extended sentence of 25 years’ custody, with an extension period of eight years, was substituted for the original sentence.

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