Woman fined for nam­ing sex as­sault vic­tim on­line

Nottingham Post - - NEWS - By POST RE­PORTER news­desk@not­ting­ham­post.com

A WOMAN has been sen­tenced for pub­lish­ing the name of a sex­ual as­sault vic­tim af­ter a rel­a­tive was jailed for the of­fence.

The 28-year-old from Nottingham was found guilty af­ter a trial at the city’s mag­is­trates court.

She was con­di­tion­ally dis­charged for a year and fined £200.

The court was told that she posted ma­li­cious mes­sages on Face­book which iden­ti­fied the vic­tim, de­spite know­ing there was leg­is­la­tion in place pro­tect­ing her anonymity. The woman showed a screen shot of the vic­tim’s Snapchat ac­count and wrote a post which in­cluded de­tails iden­ti­fy­ing her, the court heard.

Her con­vic­tion fol­lowed the sen­tenc­ing of her brother for sex­u­ally as­sault­ing a teenage old girl.. Un­der the Sex­ual Of­fences Amend­ment Act, vic­tims and al­leged vic­tims of sex­ual of­fences, in­clud­ing rape, are given life­time anonymity.

This means that noth­ing should be pub­lished by any­one, in­clud­ing mem­bers of the pub­lic, which could lead to the vic­tim or al­leged vic­tim be­ing iden­ti­fied.

This ban in­cludes pub­lish­ing the vic­tim’s name, ad­dress, name of ed­u­ca­tional es­tab­lish­ment they at­tend, place where they work or any pic­ture of them. In this case, the vic­tim is also a child, so her anonymity is also au­to­mat­i­cally pro­tected un­der the Chil­dren and Young Per­sons’ Act.

De­tec­tive Chief In­spec­tor Pete Quinn, of Not­ting­hamshire Po­lice’s pub­lic pro­tec­tion depart­ment, said the woman knew there was a court or­der in place ban­ning the pub­li­ca­tion of any de­tails which could iden­tify the vic­tim in the case.

“De­spite this, she de­lib­er­ately tried to dis­credit the vic­tim by pub­licly iden­ti­fy­ing her us­ing so­cial me­dia.

“This case shows that we con­tinue to treat vic­tims with re­spect, prop­erly in­ves­ti­gate crimes and do what­ever we can to pro­tect them from fur­ther abuse.

“We hope this case makes it clear that we will work tire­lessly to se­cure con­vic­tions against those who take the law into their own hands and cause mis­ery to in­no­cent mem­bers of the pub­lic, both in per­son and via so­cial me­dia. We also hope it re­minds mem­bers of the pub­lic that they should be very care­ful when post­ing com­ments pub­licly on so­cial me­dia sites, like Face­book. “Any­one who makes prej­u­di­cial com­ments dur­ing an ac­tive court case could also be found in con­tempt of court. The Con­tempt of Court Act ap­plies to any pub­li­ca­tion, not just the main­stream me­dia, so also in­cludes mem­bers of the pub­lic us­ing so­cial me­dia to com­ment on a live case.” He added: “We don’t ex­pect peo­ple to be me­dia law ex­perts and we do not seek to de­prive peo­ple from ex­press­ing their views but we need to re­mind peo­ple that there can be se­ri­ous con­se­quences for mak­ing in­ap­pro­pri­ate com­ments on­line, es­pe­cially in re­la­tion to any court pro­ceed­ings.”

She de­lib­er­ately tried to dis­credit the vic­tim by pub­licly iden­ti­fy­ing her us­ing so­cial me­dia

Chief In­spec­tor Pe­ter Quinn

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.