The laws in the UK are quite clear regarding viewing images of what is classed as an obscene or pornographic image. What may not be so clear is the perils of entering into an adult porn site or an adult chat room which many people both male and female fall into. The story I set out below is a tale of what could happen when you step over the boundary lines and not aware of the dangers of cyber sex.
Men especially link the idea of porn into fantasy and it is easy to stray across the lines of acceptability without meaning to as people will respond and tend to push the barriers especially when involved in chat rooms and discussions are of a private nature. You never can know who is listening in be it organisations, criminals or law enforcement agencies and even individuals who may try to coerce you into something of a sexual nature or even look for reasons to blackmail and extort money from you.
So the next time you are asked to share your fantasy or are tempted to then just remember people can hide their identity and may not be who you think they are. Just because they show a photograph doesn’t mean they are one and the same. If in doubt think twice before you are tempted and like many hundreds and thousands of others allow a moment of weakness turn into a lifetime of regret.
Remember if you break the law then you can expect to hear the words below and the impact this alone can have on you, your family, your employer, your friends and even your business. “I am arresting you on suspicion of (crime suspected of)… you do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence”.You will then be taken to a local station.
Thereafter you will be interviewed under caution and either released on police bail with conditions attached or charged with the offence. Your electronic devices will be seized so that experts will be able to examine in detail transcripts and follow an electronic fingerprint trail to show the devices history. All evidence will be collected and presented back to you at a further police interview where it is likely you will face charges dependent on the gravity of the offence and the police will charge, re-bail or release you on the presumption of innocent until proved guilty.
After the investigating officers have decided to bail you should this be the case then certain restrictions would be imposed that would be specific according to any perceived threat that the investigating officers deemed based on the potential reason for the arrest warrant being issued. The police will then keep in regular contact with you throughout the period whilst the investigations are allowed to take place which will involve any electronic devices seized to be be gone through by outside professional police agencies who work with the police. This period can be quite lengthy dependent on the number and complexity of the devices and the case in question. You also have to stay within the conditions imposed in the Conditional Bail, which could mean separations for the family unit depending on the charges.
Once the police agencies have decrypted the electronic devices they will report their findings to the investigating officers who will then decide to re-interview under caution about the alleged offence and you could find yourself either being charged under the Police Offence Act or being released with No Further Action. Any electronic devices found that have been flagged by the police agencies will be subject to a disposal order at this stage and you are likely to be asked to sign a register This would allow the police to be able to monitor for a period of time. But it also has to be remembered that many innocent people have been flagged due to cyber criminal activity using botnets, so any suspect has to be presumed innocent unless there are grounds for a charge to be brought against the individual.
If you are to be charged then these electronic devices will be held by the police and presented as part of the evidence against the individual and will be presented in court or stored or disposed off according to each case. As every case is individual and once the police have the evidence to be able to make a judgement, they are then able to reach a conclusion. This would be based on is there sufficient evidence to present to the CPS to bring a case to court and would need to show that in the police judgement an offence has been committed and warrants a criminal prosecution.
You will then either find yourself being bailed or held on remand until the Court has set a hearing date for your case to be brought to trial and all that ensues. This would be a difficult period to adjust to and likely will impact on the individual and their families and work colleagues who may or may not be aware of the circumstances. At this point it is important to remember that the onus is on the Prosecutor to prove your guilty of the offence and the burden of proof lies with them and they will present their case to the court based on the evidence presented to the CPS when the decision was made to charge the suspect. You will be given the opportunity to plead guilty or not guilty and present your case for the defence, this could then lead on to custodial or a non custodial sentence depending on the severity and judgement made by the Court.
You find yourself receiving a custodial sentence and entering the prison system and being locked away in a prison cell where you will be required to serve out any sentence handed down by the Magistrate who heard the case.
From the initial ‘Knock On The Door’ you may find yourself hearing the ‘Clank of The Door’ and the keys being turned to lock you up. So ‘Think Twice’ before you set out on viewing material of an illegal nature. Remember that there are potential consequences to your actions and to ‘Stop’ and ‘Think Twice’. The Police and other legal authorities are there to protect the innocent victims.
Author Sean McClouchan ©