The seriousness levels for these cases not only revolve around the number of images but also what they depict. Sentencing guidelines are also very much concerned with both distribution and production.
It is quite usual for the number of images to be high. The courts and investigating officers are now very skilled at setting the seriousness levels of material and following the guidelines for sentencing.
The definitions for the different levels are set out in the guidelines and are:
(a) The levels of seriousness (in ascending order) for sentencing for offences involving pornographic images are:
- Level A Involving penetrative sexual activity or sexual activity with an animal or sadism
- Level B Involving non-penetrative sexual activity
- Level C Involving other indecent images not falling within categories A or B
(b) Pseudo-photographs generally should be treated less seriously than real photographs.
(c) Starting points should be higher where the subject of the indecent photograph(s) is a child under 13.
(d) In accordance with section 80 and schedule 3 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, automatic notification (Sex Offenders Register) requirements apply upon conviction to an offender aged 18 or over where the offence involved photographs of children aged under 16.
The level(s) of the images is critical. The prosecutor will be telling the court what level the crown claim the images fall into. You may wish to contest this. It may be in your interests for such representations to be made well before the case ends up in court. Asking the court to view the material and make a decision often on technical matters does not necessarily assist due to the simple fact that the court has had to concentrate over-much on the images which otherwise might not have needed to be put before the court.
It is in your interests to have all matters considered at the earliest opportunity if you have important matters that need looking into as delay could mean that taking the issue will make matters much worse. There are often steps that can be advised and which may impact favourably on the sentence imposed by the Court.
Contact Daniel Bonich to discuss your needs and agree a fee structure to deal with this.
Clarke Kiernan LLP, Criminal Law Solicitors,
1 Lamberts Yard, Tonbridge, TN9 1ER
Phone: 01732360999, Fax : 01732 353835, EMAIL, Map