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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 70416
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I have been charged with offences regarding images, mostly

Customer Question

I have been charged with offences regarding images, mostly category c, however I did not know they were illegal as they were taken from a legitimate website. I was not given a chance at interview to divulge where I had come across the images, just routinely charged. I fully intend to lead not guilty, but am concerned I won't be listened to
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

How can I help with this please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do not feel I am guilty because I believed at the time I was downloading from a bona fide website so any images would be legal. Is this a defence?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Have you kept illegal images or did you delete them immediately?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When I had suspicions I disconnected computer tower, disposed of all the leads, keyboard etc, put computer in spare room, not accessed it for over 2 years. Was arrested over unrelated incident, which resulted in no charges being bought, but they confiscated the tower, and the laptop I had been using for 2 years. No images on laptop, just the historic ones on tower
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.


Why didn't you delete them?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I did, the computer was examined forensically
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

How quickly did you delete them?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Don't remember, just know that it was a few weeks later that I discovered that they could be classed as indecent. it was January 2014
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Never accessed them again
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Are they of children?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Clothed, 10+
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.


This doesn’t amount to a defence to possession per se. Come what may, you were in possession and even if this was an unsolicited download you didn’t delete the images in time.

However, you can always put them to proof upon whether they are indecent. I haven’t seen the images but if it took you a period of time to realise they may be indecent then there probably is an argument on the point.

The fact that this was a legitimate website is a factor that can be considered when indecency is considered.

Can I clarify anything for you?


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Don't they have to prove that I downloaded them knowing them to be indecent, I trusted, albeit it seems wrongly, that the website could not display indecent images, so are they not guilty of distribution/
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It seems that in many cases such as mine the accused is advised to plead guilty. I never intended to download indecent images, so feel I am not guilty
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.


They just have to prove you were in possession of images that were indecent.

They do have to prove knowledge of the possession but you accept that.

It would have been a defence to say that you didn't have knowledge of the possession if you hadn't kept them for several weeks.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

If you hadn't known them to be indecent then you would have a defence to possession but the problem is that you kept them for too long.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I had no reason to believe they were indecent, either at the time or after, until I deleted them. Seems to be that the law regarding indecent images is biased against the accused, isn't that like saying " you were in the room with the body, so you must be guilty of murder" Thank you for the advice, it has been very informative, and has given me a resolve that I need to think things through. I notice you didn't comment on whether the supplier of the images is guilty of distribution.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

They could be. It depends.

that is no defence to the charges against you though.