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First woman sentenced under revenge porn law for pics of girlfriend

Joseph McCormick September 2, 2015

The first woman in the UK to be sentenced for revenge porn was today given a suspended jail term for posting photos of her ex girlfriend online.

Paige Mitchell was today handed down a six-week suspended jail sentence at Stevenage Magistrates’ Court.

She was also given a two-week sentence for common assault, to run concurrently.

Both sentences were suspended for 18 months.

Mitchell had posted four sexually explicit images of her ex-girlfriend on her Facebook page after an argument.

The victim had accused Mitchell of looking at other women.

Handing down the sentence, the chairman of the bench Bette Hindmarsh said: “Posting the photos on the internet was a highly vindictive invasion of privacy.

“It was done with the intention of humiliating and hurting your victim.”

Mitchell pleaded guilty to one count of assault by beating and one count of disclosing private sexual photographs with intent to cause distress.

The photos were sent by the victim to Mitchell during their relationship. They were posted online before Mitchell’s mother told her it is illegal to post them online, at which point she deleted them.

In a statement, Joanna Coleman for the Crown Prosecution Service said: “These vengeful crimes are predominantly thought of as being carried out by men.

“This sentencing will highlight that anyone can be guilty of this offence and regardless of the defendant’s gender, once reported, it will be taken seriously.

“Crimes where an intimate image of an individual is shared without their permission in such a public forum is invasive, humiliating and distressing for the victim and leaves them feeling violated.

“It can have a huge impact on the victim and I am pleased that more people are having the confidence to come forward and report these crimes.”

A ‘revenge porn’ amendment to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill received Royal Assent this year and became law, punishing perpetrators with up to two years in prison.

TV host Anna Richardson last month leaked her own naked pictures to a revenge porn website, as part of a social experiment.

If you have been a victim of revenge porn and want to seek advice, call the helpline on 0845 6000 459.

More: jail, prison, revenge, revenge porn, sentence

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