Police To Appeal Coventry Revenge Porn Sentence

West Midlands Police say they'll appeal a sentence handed to a mum-of-four who has become the first woman in the West Midlands convicted under revenge porn laws after sharing naked images of her former partner on Facebook.

Ann-Marie Clarke, 36, from Stoke in Coventry, split from the man in June 2015 before distributing the images taken during a holiday in Mexico in January this year.

West Midlands Police found Facebook message exchanges, instigated by Clarke, designed to humiliate the 32-year-old victim and which have left him "emotionally and psychologically scarred".

In police interview she said the images were posted on Facebook some time earlier and had not been shared with the intention of causing him any distress and claimed to have no recollection, blaming alcohol, of changing her profile photo.

However, at Coventry Magistrates on Monday 13 June she admitted disclosing private sexual photographs online and was fined £50. 

Sergeant Alex Tarr from Coventry Police's Public Protection Unit, said: "Securing this revenge porn conviction sends out the message that distributing sensitive images is not a joke or a bit of a laugh but can be very distressing to victims.

"It also shows that victims, and indeed offenders, for this type of offence can be either male or female.

"The man in this case has suffered considerable emotional and psychological distress due to Clarke's actions.

We don't believe the sentence handed down reflects that distress and we are planning to appeal it."

West Midlands Police and prosecutors had also asked for a restraining order to be imposed but the request was refused by the court.

Legislation making revenge porn a specific offence was introduced last year and makes it illegal to distribute a private sexual image of someone without their consent and with the intention of causing them distress.

It covers images posted to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter well as those that are shared via text message.

The offence carries a maximum sentence of two years' imprisonment.

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