Girl, 18, spared jail over ‘re­venge porn’ video

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - KAREN BRIT­TON karen.brit­ton@men­media.co.uk @karenbrit­ton1

ATEENAGER has been spared prison after post­ing a ‘re­venge porn’ style video on Face­book of her best friend hav­ing sex.

Danika France, 18, walked in with a cam­era while her friend, Leah Trevena, was in bed with a man fol­low­ing after a night out.

She told the vic­tim that she had deleted the video, but a month later, when the pair fell out, got a friend to post a screen­shot onto Miss Trevena’s Face­book page. France later posted the video in full onto her own Face­book page.

Sen­tenc­ing France at Mac­cles­field Mag­is­trates Court, Mag­is­trates told her they con­sid­ered send­ing her to jail for the of­fence which Miss Trevena said had left her sui­ci­dal.

France, of Athey Street, was given a com­mu­nity or­der for her crime and or­dered to pay £100 com­pen­sa­tion to her vic­tim.

Neil Aud­ley, prose­cut­ing, told the court that France filmed Miss Trevena with­out per­mis­sion while she was in bed.

He said: “The de­fen­dant was down­stairs while the vic­tim was en­gaged in sex­ual re­la­tions with the man up­stairs. Miss Trevena be­came aware that France was stood in the door­way film­ing her on her phone and laugh­ing. The com­plainant was un­happy she had taken it and didn’t give her con­sent.”

Miss Trevena asked France to delete the video but dis­cov­ered it posted on­line a month later.

Mr Aud­ley said: “Miss Trevena said she felt sick and could not stop cry­ing. She felt the de­fen­dant was try­ing to get back at her.”

France pleaded guilty at a hear­ing in De­cem­ber to send­ing a video to Face­book of non-ex­plicit sex­ual ac­tiv­ity which con­veyed a mes­sage which was in­de­cent for the pur­pose of caus­ing dis­tress un­der the Ma­li­cious Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Act.

At the time, when she dis­cov­ered her crime was set to fea­ture in The Ex­press, she posted on­line: ““I’m fa­mous, ha ha! Front page to­mor­row, ha!”

France’s sen­tence in­cluded a sec­ond of­fence of as­sault.

She pleaded guilty at a sep­a­rate hear­ing to as­sault­ing Vic­to­ria Pren­der­gast in the So­ci­ety Rooms Wether­spoons pub on Park Green, Mac­cles­field, on Au­gust 13 last year.

The at­tack hap­pened after the vic­tim sent France a text say­ing she had been out with her boyfriend. France ad­mit­ted swing­ing a punch but said she didn’t hit her. The court heard she grabbed her hand to get her phone, poked her and wiped a tear from her face in a sar­cas­tic man­ner.

John Gal­lagher, de­fend­ing, said France has a strong work ethic and was work­ing with peo­ple with men­tal health is­sues but has now lost her job.

He said: “It shows the per­ils of so­cial me­dia. It’s part and par­cel of the lives of young peo­ple and they don’t think about the con­se­quences. When she took the video it was a prank, noth­ing ma­li­cious, but it was naïve and the con­se­quences have been se­vere.”

Mag­is­trates gave France a 12 month com­mu­nity or­der and a three month cur­few be­tween 7pm and 7am. She must also pay £100 costs, £100 com­pen­sa­tion to Miss Trevena and £50 com­pen­sa­tion to Vic­to­ria Pren­der­gast.

Peter Nash, chair­man of the bench, said: “We’re sen­tenc­ing you for two of­fences, the ma­li­cious com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­ing by far the most se­ri­ous.

“We have con­sid­ered cus­tody but you gave a guilty plea at the first op­por­tu­nity and have been naïve so we’re fol­low­ing the rec­om­men­da­tion of pro­ba­tion.”

France must not con­tact Miss Trevena for a year.

Speak­ing after the orig­i­nal hear­ing, Miss Trevena said: “I want her to re­alise what she’s done. She doesn’t know how much it’s af­fected me. I have been sui­ci­dal. I feel re­ally vul­ner­a­ble. I’m glad the po­lice took me se­ri­ously and she has been in court now, so I have some clo­sure. I want peo­ple to know that post­ing things like this on­line is a very se­ri­ous is­sue and peo­ple can go to the po­lice.

“It’s so easy to up­load and peo­ple think there are no real con­se­quences, but there are.”

●● Danika France

●● Leah Trevena was a vic­tim of a ‘re­venge porn’ at­tack

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