Police defend caution for Eastbourne revenge porn man

Police news
Police news

Sussex Police have defended a decision to caution an Eastbourne man for a series of revenge porn offences, but say enquiries are underway following further allegations.

Police say the decision to caution a 36-year-old man from Eastbourne for posting photos of four local women to an abusive porn site was based on a variety of factors and fit the national framework for out-of-court disposals.

But the force says it will now review the circumstances of the offences and confirmed it has begun further enquiries following allegations by a fifth potential victim.

Sussex Police Inspector Rachel Barrow said, “We recognise the nature of the captions and comments used are distressing for the victims, who have each been spoken to individually by officers.

“We took positive action and arrested the offender, who spent time in custody while we interviewed him and made further enquiries. We took the decision to issue a caution based on all the factors available to us, including the offender’s remorse, the nature of the offences and the likelihood of the caution being effective in preventing re-offending.

“It’s important to note that while two of the images were of a sexual nature, the others were taken from social media and were neither explicit nor indecent.

“This decision fits the national framework for out-of-court disposals, and police cautions are available for adults for a number of offences.

“We have contacted the website to request the images be removed.

“We are also aware of reports of threats being made to one of the victims, and we will be speaking to her to clarify the exact circumstances.

“We take all reports of offences of this nature seriously and if anyone feels they are a victim of this type of crime, we would encourage them to contact 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or call 101.”

Police were first contacted on April 8 by a woman who said two sexual photographs of her had been posted on a porn site without her permission.

Shortly afterwards, three other women came forward with complaints that images of them – non-sexual and taken from their Facebook accounts – had also been posted on the same website with offensive captions.

A police spokesman said, “On April 27, the suspect was arrested and interviewed regarding the allegations, to which he made full admissions and expressed remorse. A number of devices were seized from his home address and the images were deleted.

“The 36-year-old, from Eastbourne, was cautioned for one count of disclosing private sexual photographs with intent to cause distress, and three counts of causing, to be sent by public communication network, an offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing message or matter.”

Police say the man was also advised he would be charged for further offences should his behaviour continue.

The offences involve four victims and took place between September 14 last year and February 16.

Sussex Police Detective Superintendent Nick May said, “A crime like this I know generates a lot of emotion.

“We have spoken to the victims and looked into the details of each case. In these cases we chose to caution the man based on a number of factors.

“We understand the public’s concern but we have to make decisions like this on a daily basis and they are rarely easy. However, we recognise that there is a lot of public interest in these particular cases and I have asked my officers to review the circumstances.”

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