Indecent Images of Minors

Creating Indecent Images of Minors, Distributing Child Pornography

Creating indecent images of minors, or child pornography, is a serious sexual offence. It is defined in section 1 of the Protection of Children Act 1978. If you are accused of making or distributing indecent images of children, the prosecution must prove that:

  • You made or distributed images or pseudo-images,
  • The image or pseudo image was indecent, and
  • The image or pseudo-image showed a child under the age of 18

For the purposes of this offence, downloading an image from the internet and storing it digitally or printing it amounts to making an image.

Possessing Indecent Images of Children

There is a separate offence of possessing indecent images of children, contrary to section 160 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988. If you are accused of this offence, the prosecution must prove that:

  • You knowingly possessed an image or pseudo-image of a child under the age of 18, and
  • The image or pseudo image was indecent.

Possessing or Creating indecent images of a child is an either way offence, meaning that it can be heard in either the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court. The maximum sentence in the Magistrates Court is 6 months imprisonment, while the Crown Court can impose up to 3 years for possession of indecent images, or 10 years custody for making or distributing these images.

While there is a significant risk of a prison sentence, the circumstances of the offence and the offender may suggest that a suitable Community Order, or perhaps a Suspended Sentence, would be a more appropriate route to rehabilitation than prison.

As well as the immediate sentence, anyone convicted of possessing indecent images of minors would have to comply with the conditions of the Sex Offenders Register.

As child pornography or indecent images allegations are so serious, and even being accused of the offence can cause a suspect great anxiety, it is important that you are represented by an experienced specialist solicitor, who knows the best way to prepare your defence. If you need more information about child pornography allegations, contact us and we can try to recommend a specialist criminal defence lawyer who can help you.

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