Ann-Marie Clarke, aged 36, from Stoke, has become the first woman in the West Midlands to be convicted under revenge porn laws. Coventry Magistrates Court heard how she had posted intimate photos of an ex-boyfriend on Facebook, and even went as far as setting one image – with his genitals exposed – as her own profile picture.
Clarke admitted disclosing private sexual photographs online and was fined £50.
In a statement afterwards, West Midlands Police said it was “set to appeal the sentence.” Officers said the messages were designed to humiliate the 32-year-old victim and had left him “emotionally and psychologically scarred”.
In a police interview, Clarke said the images were posted on Facebook some time earlier, and claimed not to have any recollection of doing so, blaming alcohol for the changing of her profile picture.
She said they had not been shared with the intention of causing harm or distress.
“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.”
Sgt Alex Tarr from Coventry Police’s public protection unit, speaking after the hearing
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.
If you have been a victim of revenge porn, the best advice is to capture any evidence of the offence by ‘screen-shotting’ the image. You also need to contact the Police, who can deal with the offence in the appropriate manner.
It is also advised that you contact the Revenge Porn Helpline for free, confidential advice and support. Their helpline telephone number is open from 10.00am – 4.00pm, Monday to Friday. Emails can be sent at any time to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the case, visit the Coventry Telegraph article.
For more information about our work, please visit www.safeinwarwickshire.com/cybercrime
Respect Yourself is a Warwickshire focussed website, dedicated to offering advice to young people aged 13 and over, about sex and relationships. There is also a dedicated section where parents can seek out more information if they have any concerns.
Get Safe Online is the UK’s leading source of factual and easy-to-understand information on online safety. Their website offers advice on how you can protect yourself, your computers and devices, and your business against the likes of fraud, identity theft, viruses and other potential online problems.