21-year-old man becomes first to face jail for sharing revenge porn

He put naked photos of his ex on Facebook and shared them with her family

A man has become the first person in the UK to be found guilty of sharing revenge porn on social media.

Jason Asagba, 21, faces prison for posting naked photos of an ex-girlfriend on Facebook – just three days after new laws against revenge porn came into force.

Then he sent the photographs to the 20-year-old woman’s family and shared them on Facebook, causing her “extreme distress”.

Jason, from Romford in Essex, now faces two years in prison for the offence.

He was bailed and will appear at Reading Magistrates’ Court on August 7 before sentencing.

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There are a number of revenge porn websites, where people can post explicit photos of their ex. This screenshot is not linked to the case

Under section 33 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015, it is illegal to share explicit photographs or films without the consent of the person or people in them and if the intention is to cause distress.

The new laws cover posting pictures on social media, or sending images to mobile phones.

Detective Constable Steven Rose from Thames Valley Police said he thought Asagba’s conviction was the first of its kind for a revenge porn offence in the UK.

He said: “This was an extremely distressing case for the victim. However with these new powers, anyone found committing these offences will be dealt with by the court.

“We believe that this is the first conviction of the new offence in the country, which highlights the fact that Thames Valley Police takes this crime extremely seriously and will investigate such reports.

“I would like to thank all those officers and staff who have worked on this investigation, as well as the Crown Prosecution Service for bringing the case to court.”

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Laws against revenge porn were passed back in April

Prior to the new laws being introduced, David Cameron branded revenge porn as an “appalling offence, a dreadful thing for someone to do and it clearly has criminal intent”.

But not everybody believes conviction for revenge porn is a good idea.

Speaking on revenge porn laws, a spokesperson for freedom of expression group Article 19 said: “We believe that this issue should be addressed proportionately and before enacting new laws, the existing laws should be looked at.

“We agree that there is little or no free speech value in revenge porn sites. Equally, we recognize that in the vast majority of cases, the posting of explicit images online without consent would involve a serious breach of the victim’s privacy.

“At the same time, not every case of ‘revenge porn’ will necessarily involve revenge. For example, what happens if a reporter received copies of explicit photos involving a well-known politician?

“The criminal law is a very blunt instrument. A conviction can be equally devastating for future job prospects, especially in cases involving teenagers who are still learning and are making mistakes.

“We believe that in the vast majority of cases, it would be more appropriate and proportionate to use civil remedies and for victims to receive damages for breach of privacy.”

But earlier this year the Ban Revenge Porn campaign, who were one of the driving forces behind the UK law change, said: “The act of revenge porn is spiteful and it intends to cause harm, we are therefore pushing for the UK government to legislate to recognise it as a sexual crime.”

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