Kettering man jailed after one of the county’s first convictions for ‘revenge porn’

Northampton Crown Court
Northampton Crown Court

Police have warned against the dangers of sharing images online after one of the first ever convictions of a man for ‘revenge porn’ in Northamptonshire.

A 27-year-old Kettering man was jailed for three years earlier this month after being convicted under new legislation to tackle so-called revenge porn.

The defendant had pleaded guilty to one count of disclosing private images or films with intent to cause distress under section 33 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015.

He also pleaded guilty to two counts of harassment and two further charges of sending malicious communications.

He was sentenced to three years for harassment and a further 12 months for each other charge, to run concurrently.

Northampton Crown Court heard the accused had met his victim through the social media site Tinder.

During a two-month relationship, private images and films were sent between them with the consent being only the other person could see it.

However, the hearing was told the relationship went sour and, after it ended, he began sending numerous intimidating messages and then threats to send the images over the internet and to the victim’s father.

The court was told the victim’s images were subsequently posted online, through internet porn sites and dating sites, along with advertisements classifying her as an escort and inviting persons to attend her address for sex.

Multiple fake accounts were created in the victim’s name, with access to them through the defendant.

He would then talk to people making them believe it was the victim and invite them around to the victim’s family home at all hours on a daily basis.

Threatening text messages and emails were also sent to the victim and members of her family.

However, these were masked using websites located on the dark web which made it appear the messages came from the victim herself.

The victim’s father was also sent private images and films via email.

Prosecution evidence included a PayPal account used to pay for accounts and IP addresses linked back to his home WiFi.

Speaking after the hearing, DC Ryan Smedley of Northamptonshire Police said: “We are very happy with the sentence handed down today.

“Months of abuse by this individual led to months of work for an investigation involving CID, cybercrime officers and uniformed colleagues who were all involved doing research, interviews, searches, device interrogation and much more.

“This man believed he was clever, researching his devices before committing the offences, including searching Google for the legislation around revenge porn.

“He even used the dark web and software which masked some of what he did.

“However, using the internet always leaves a digital footprint somewhere.

“He wreaked havoc and distress against his victim and her family, resulting in evidence brought before the court that pushed him to enter guilty pleas at the earliest opportunity.

“This case serves as a reminder about the risks of knowing who you are talking to online and, particularly, the risks around sending private images and films to people you don’t know that well.

“The consequences for someone’s private life when a revenge porn attack happens can be incalculable: Worklife, social life and mental health can all be affected as a result of someone simply sending a naked image that is then shared on one site and shared by thousands of others.”

The defendant was also given a 10-year restraining order preventing him from contacting his victim.

In order to protect the victim’s identity, Northamptonshire Police will not be naming the defendant.