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COPFS

First 'intimate images' conviction under new legislation

A 59 year-old man who threatened to upload an intimate video of a former partner to the internet has been sentenced after the first conviction under new ‘intimate images’ legislation.

Kenneth Robinson, from Northumberland, pled guilty to sending his former partner numerous emails and repeatedly threatening to upload a video to the internet. The Procurator Fiscal sought and was granted a three year long order banning him from approaching or contacting his victim.

He was also ordered to pay his victim £200 in compensation.

He had previously pled guilty at Jedburgh Sheriff Court on 7 August.

This is the first conviction under section 2(1) of the Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Act 2016 since this section came into force on 3 July 2017.

The Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Bill was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 22 March 2016 and received Royal Assent on 28 April 2016.

Anne Marie Hicks, National Procurator Fiscal for Domestic Abuse said:

“This conviction under the new legislation sends a clear message that behaviour like this is unacceptable and that those who disclose or threaten to disclose intimate images will be dealt with seriously by the criminal justice system.

“This type of offending is often used as a form of online domestic abuse. It is designed to cause fear, alarm or distress and often used to humiliate, threaten and control the victim. Those affected may be too embarrassed to come forward or fear they will be blamed.

"I hope the prosecution and outcome in this case will provide reassurance to victims and that they will have greater confidence to report cases. This type of offending is never acceptable and victims are in no way responsible just because they may have consented to an image being taken.

“COPFS will continue to work closely with Police Scotland, and other partners, including Scottish Women’s Aid, Rape Crisis Scotland and ASSIST, to tackle all forms of abuse within intimate partner relationships and we strongly encourage anyone who has been a victim of any such offences to report this to the police.”