Chris Harper successful in “revenge porn” appeal against sentence

Chris Harper appeared in the Court of Appeal for the appellant in one of the first cases heard on sentencing for so-called “revenge porn” (R v Amar Bostan [2018] EWCA Crim 494).

 

Chris was successful with two submissions. First that the sentence of four months’ imprisonment (six before full credit for a guilty plea) imposed on a young defendant was manifestly excessive. The defendant, who was a serving prisoner at the time of sentencing, had pleaded guilty to sending a single partially nude image of a woman to her mother with a message suggesting further exposure as a possibility if she continued contacting him. The new offence has no guidelines and there are no reported cases dealing with sentencing. Chris successfully argued that the starting point was too high based on an analysis of the harm and culpability in the case, with reference to the maximum sentence of two years. The Court substituted a term of two months (reduced from three for full credit).

 

At the time of the relevant sentencing exercise, the judge had purported to activate a suspended sentence for a period of six months. Chris’ further submission that a previous judge’s order had activated all the suspended sentences the defendant was then subject to, was accepted. Consequently, there was no suspended sentence at the time of the most recent sentencing exercise, to be activated. That element of the sentence was therefore quashed.

 

The defendant’s total sentence was reduced from a period of 10 months in custody to two months, resulting in his immediate release.

2018-04-03T13:39:13+00:00 March 13th, 2018|