I Wish News Reports Were Clearer

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barry1010 | 10:04 Thu 10th Mar 2022 | News
20 Answers
Just read a news item published by a newspaper on Facebook about child abuse images. A man has been sentenced to four years for ' making indecent photographs of a child '. That is the correct wording of the charge but the report doesn't explain what it means.
Some people think that this man had taken indecent photos of many children and abused them himself - can't blame them for that because of the wording. They are very angry, baying for blood and demanding action.
The report fails to explain that he had found the images on the internet and downloaded them - still a very sick thing to do and to my mind 4 years is not enough but very different to physically abusing children himself.

Any idea why the news reports aren't very clear about the actual offences and explain the legal terminology?


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There is an Irish League footballer called Jay Donnelly who was convicted of this: what he had actually done was take pictures while having sex with a 16 year old (Donnelly himself was around 20 at the time). While he absolutely deserved his sentence, he was the subject of a hate campaign and several clubs refused to have anything to do with him.
I think it's fair to say Donnelly is a bit of a plank, but I am not sure he deserved the backlash he received.
He is now slowly rehabilitating
I thought it was normal for the gutter press to tell it not like it is. They like to spin.

That doesn't detract from the fact that this man should be locked up, even for looking at vile images.
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This is different. Donnelly took the photos himself and shared them with his mates, of course they ended up on the internet.
He got only 3 months for that - far too lenient in my opinion. The victim was still a school girl.

In fairness to the press on the Donnelly incident they were only reporting the actual offence. Technically they were correct
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Absolutely agree, tigger. The sentence should be longer
I don’t know the incident referred to but it sounds like the offence exactly matches the description and I don’t see the problem with the sentence in principle
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It is the term 'making' which leads people to think that the man physically abused the children and took the photos himself. 'Downloading' is the more accurate term that would be clear to everyone.
The maximum sentence for downloading these Category A (the worst) images is 3 years; for downloading and distributing it is 5 years.
Missy gave me hell for writing about the Randy Prince: take a deep breath and admit you have no idea of the difference between a crime and a civil wrong

true but doesnt sell newspapers - a lorra the time the hacks and journos didnt either

Geena Miller and brexit - no one had a clue what HER case was about xc it was " brexitty" ( thx to TTT)

early case decided that downloading was "creating" - coz their lordships said it was created on the machines RAM, see?

once that is established - then the factors taken into account are seriousness - pigs and bruised children, very bad. - and filing and hiding

no wonder the news reports arent clear - it is like AB alorra the time the author doesnt understand what the hell is going on - and if it is AB, insists that he does ( see dunning kruger effect)
making is case law
their lordships decided downloading was making
“It is the term 'making' which leads people to think that the man physically abused the children and took the photos himself. 'Downloading' is the more accurate term that would be clear to everyone.”

I think that’s playing with words.
When you download you make a new copy.
I can’t comment on the sentence as you don’t give any more details but they must have been pretty bad.
I suppose it could also mean taking adult porn and using Photoshop to superimpose children's images onto it.

I think what's going on is that there is an old set of laws and new ways of breaking them. The law can't keep up so they take an old one, that was possibly put in place to address people who take offensive photos, and use it to hit people who look at offensive photos online.

The sentence should reflect the severity of the offence within the spectrum of possible offences that the law addresses. I would hope that taking photos of real children in pornographic situations carries a higher penalty than looking at those photos online or creating fake ones, even if they're all covered by the same law.
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They must have been as they were cat A
Aren't they using "making" incorrectly ? Downloading a picture of a violin is not the same as making one in the workshop.
// I think that’s playing with words.//

the statute says creating and the judges said that downloading was creating

‘Make’ is defined as “to cause to exist, to produce by action, to bring about” (R v Bowden [2000] 1 Cr. App. R. 438).


ugh not bed time reading
war images from Ukraine are less stomach turning
hi vulcky !

no taking a photo of violin or taking a photie of a screen which has a piccy of a violin is the same as downloading

image and thing - you are making a photie not making a violin

a bit airy fairy for AB but that is law for you !
The jail sentence is way over the top, one year is sufficient. There is a lot of outrage at the moment over sexual abuse, yes it is abhorrent but it must be kept in context in each case.
From the CPS,

"Charging ‘Possession’ or Charging ‘Making’?

Prosecutors must bear in mind what needs to be proved in respect of possession of the images. Much will depend on (a) the location of the images on the device (b) how they came to be located there and (c) how accessible/viewable they are in that location without specialist knowledge or software. By way of example:

A person who views an image on a device, which is then automatically cached onto its memory, would not be in possession of that image unless it can be proved that he / she knew of the cache.A person who downloads an image from the internet and then deletes it such that it is ultimately recovered in the unallocated space or clusters will not be in possession of that image unless it can be proved that he / she has the wherewithal to retrieve it.

The case of R v Porter [2006] 1 WLR 2633 supports the view that, in normal circumstances, deleting images held on a computer is sufficient to divest oneself of possession of them. An exception would be where a person is shown to have intended to remain in control of an image even though he has deleted it - that will entail him having the capacity (through skill or software) to retrieve the image. Where images have been deleted prosecutors may wish to consider whether they can charge the suspect with possession of an indecent / prohibited image on a date between either the purchase of the computer (or reformatting) of the hard drive and the date that the computer was seized.

In each example, the person would however have "made" the image in question. Subject to there being evidence of the act which constituted the making and the necessary mental element, an offence contrary to section 1 of the PCA 1978 is preferable and in most cases would suffice.

The use of section 160 of the CJA 1988 is becoming increasingly rare. It is better reserved to cases where the evidence is unambiguous in showing genuine possession, for example, where a suspect has the images in printed form or has saved them into a clearly labelled file within the hard drive of the device. The charge of 'making' also has the advantage of being widely interpreted to cover such activities as opening attachments to emails and downloading or simply viewing images on the internet. By contrast, the same conduct often cannot lead to a possession charge."

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William, as long as people like him continue to download and share images of very young children being horribly abused the abuse will continue. Money is being made, parents and guardians are being coerced and children from new born to teens are suffering.
This is a vile trade and anyone found with these images should get the longest possible prison sentence.
and it's for that reason barry i disagree with your "it's different to taking the pics yourself" argument
I am with Barry @ 11:38.

Anyone in anyway involved with this should get a lengthy jail sentence and be considered for castration. All, including the women, should be on the sex offenders register for life, people like this rarely change their views or actions.

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