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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 69367
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I'm very ashamed to write The police seized my computers

Customer Question

Hello,
I'm very ashamed to write The police seized my computers because they believed I had accessed an obscene image. What they might find: I have been automatically downloading 1000s of adult images from tumblr in every adult niche for use on my own tumblr accounts for marketing adult affiliate programs.I don't manually look through the images, they are uploaded with a bot. Because they came from tumblr I thought they would be fine but if any of the images are deemed to be underage they could consider this distributing or trying to profit as I was auto uploading them back to tumblr. All these images are on an external drive.
On my computer I once ripped some images from google, also for use on tumblr in the nudist niche. I saw one image contained a young child naked on the beach and I immediately deleted the entire folder and never used these images and never pulled images directly from google images again. I don't know if they will recover these images.
Also the same computer I have a folder with my own files in, there are maybe 5-8 nude/topless pics that look about 18 but may be debateable. There is 1 where I think it would be hard to argue shes 18, shes probably younger but not sure, maybe 15/16 (shes pulling her underwear to one side.) I don't remeber where this came from, I may have deleted it.
On another laptop I have old videos of me exposing myself in chat rooms to girls who look 16+ a couple older. They usually laugh and move on or laugh and watch a short time. I never speak to speak, they never expose themselves. I have no idea the legality of these. I never show my face and the police may not realise its me. There are similar videos in the same folder which don't feature me so it may look I just downloaded all the videos (unless there's a way they can tell they were made by me.)
There's one video of a girl who apparently lost a bet and is been stripped by her male friends, one holds her arms and one exposes her breasts and pulls down her shorts, she resists a little but she laughs and they do seem to be friends. Its Foreign maybe Mexican. Its hard to say how old she is, she easily could be 18-19 but the way she is dressed might make her look younger.
They took some other hard drives too, I don't think there's anything on there, maybe some duplicates of the auto downloaded stuff.
Any advice you can give me would be great or any opinion of what will happen if/when they find some or all of the above.
Will they likely have some internet history from my isp and is this good evidence considering its not actually on my computer? My recent internet history should be fine but last year and before that I was drinking at lot at home and am not so sure.
Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

What would you like to know about this please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I would like to know how likely I am to be charged and how likely I am to be cautioned rather than go to court. Thank you
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Have you admitted anything?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No. When the police were in my house I told them I was auto downloading adult porn on tumblr on mass and if anything is found that could be an explanation. They didn't take a record of what I said and advised me not to say anything.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Is the girl in uniform?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The girl in the video is not. The girl in the image is wearing something similar to a uniform, but I don't think it is, shes wearing a blouse, no tie and I think the skirt is a tartan blue. Its hard to remember exactly.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

If it is just a small number of images then they probably won't find them.

If they do then they probably would offer a caution but these images sound very borderline so I'm not sure it is a good idea to accept a caution.

Cautions are not consequence free. You would never be able to say that you had good character again, you would have to sign the register and also probably be banned from working with children in the sense that you are added to the list.

If there are any other options it is not a good idea to accept it.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
what about the webcam videos I think they will find them?
Also what about the nudist images I deleted, this was a genuine accident but if they don't accept that, and are able to recover them, these were not borderline.
The image is on a computer that doesn't have much on and I don't think they'll miss it.
Also the stuff that was mass downloaded, if they do find something here and don't accept my explanation will be likely to try to add a charge of distributing? Or trying to profit from the images?
If I didn't accept a caution would I have to go to court? I feel in court even if I was found not guilty I would be labeled forever. My local paper publishes what is happening in court.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

If you deleted them immediately and it was a genuine mistake then that isn't possession. There is case law on that point.

I'm not sure what the distribution is?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Please, I need to know what you think of the webcam/chat room video situation?I'll explain what I meant when I said distribution. I was automatically downloading images. These images were automatically uploaded to a blog on tumblr. If any of these images were illegal, not only did I accidentally download them, but I shared them too.