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Woman sentenced for posting person's intimate images on Facebook

First female prosecuted under new law

Paige Mitchell who pleaded guilty to disclosing private sexual photographs with intent to cause distress to another woman, as well as assault by beating, is believed to be the first female to be prosecuted for revenge pornography under new legislation.

Under the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 it an offence to disclose private sexual photographs and films without the consent of the individual who appears in them and with the intent to cause that individual distress.

Ms Mitchell was sentenced to six weeks imprisonment suspended for 18 months, rehabilitation activity requirement for 50 days and ordered to pay costs at Stevenage Magistrates' Court after pleading.

At an earlier hearing Mitchell admitted attacking the victim during an argument. She then went on to post explicit photos of the victim on to her Facebook profile later that day.  Mitchell went on to caption the pictures with humiliating insults and even referenced the assault.

Joanna Coleman, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS Thames and Chiltern 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."

The CPS guidance on Revenge Porn outlines:

For an article by Ariel Ricci, barrister at Coram Chambers, Julie Pinborough, Founder and Director of the Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre and Frances Ridout, Deputy Director of the Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre, which considers the growing problem of "revenge pornography", please click here.