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Computer Investigation: Possessing, Making and Distributing Indecent Images of Children
Possession of indecent photographs / images of children
For legal advice and guidance on indecent images of children go here http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/h_to_k/indecent_photographs_of_children/.
It is important to note that the possession of material depicting indecent images of children is a serious criminal offence. Section 160 of the Criminal Justice Act provides:
It is an offence for a person
- To have any indecent photograph or pseudo photograph of a child in his or her possession
Where a person is charged with an offence under this subsection of the Act, it shall be a defence for him to prove
- That he had a legitimate reason for having the photograph in his possession or
- That he had not himself seen the photograph and did not know or have any cause to suspect it to be indecent or
- That the photograph was sent to him without any prior request made by him or on his behalf and that he did not keep it for an unreasonable time.
Making and Distributing indecent photographs / images of children
The Protection of Children Act 1978, section 1 provides:
It is an offence for a person
- To take or permit to be taken, or to make any indecent photograph or pseudo photograph of a child or
- To distribute or show such indecent photographs or pseudo photographs or
- To have in his possession such indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs with a view to their being distributed or shown by himself/herself or others or
- To publish or cause to be published any advertisement likely to be understood as conveying that the advertiser distributes or shows such indecent photographs or pseudo photographs or intends to do so
For the purpose of this Act , a person is to be regarded as distributing an indecent photograph or pseudo-photograph if he parts with the image, or exposes or offers the image for acquisition by another person.
Where a person is charged with an offence under this subsection it shall be a defence for him/her to prove
- That he/she had a legitimate reason for distributing or showing the photographs or pseudo photographs or having them in his or her possession.
- That he had not himself seen the photographs or pseudo photographs and did not know, nor had any cause to suspect them to be indecent.
Definition of a pseudo photograph / image: One that is created by image manipulation software so that the overall appearance of any figure is that of a child. Photographs are defined to include data held on a computer that can be resolved into an image.
Go to Data Clinic’s main Computer Forensics page