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Man who posted 'revenge porn' images of wife on Facebook escapes jail time

When she's not writing, Claire Gillespie can most often be found wiping snotty noses, picking up Lego, taking photos of her cat or doing headstands.

Laws should protect 'revenge porn' victims but a man escaped jail time after sharing intimate pictures of his wife

From SheKnows UK
“Revenge porn” has been illegal in England and Wales since April but that hasn’t stopped a husband walking free from court after posting intimate pictures of his wife on Facebook.

As reported in The Independent, David Honeybell, 49, sought revenge after discovering his wife Sarah was having an affair. As well as posting the private images online he threatened to send them to her employer. He also burned a pile of her clothes.

New laws brought into force in spring mean those found guilty of “disclosing private sexual photographs and films with an intent to cause distress” will face a maximum prison sentence of up to two years. However Honeybell pleaded guilty to a less serious offence of harassment, as well as arson, and avoided a custodial sentence.

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Honeybell, who represented himself in court, admitted harassing his wife by sending her 18 text messages and leaving her six voicemail messages on June 16, telling the judge: “I am sorry. I was upset that after 23 years of marriage my wife was having an affair.” He also told the court he now accepted that his marriage was over.

He was given a 12-month community order and a restraining order, as well as a total of £325 in fines and costs.

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It’s not clear why Honeybell wasn’t charged with the offence of revenge porn and cases like this provide little reassurance to victims.

In Revenge Porn, a Channel 4 documentary which aired this week, several women who have been the victims of revenge porn spoke to presenter Anna Richardson about how it affected them.

One woman, whose photos were viewed multiple times, said it made her feel as if she had been “abused 30,000 times.” Another said she felt “ill” when she discovered naked images of herself on the Internet.

A woman named Laura revealed that she didn’t want to send her ex-partner topless photos of herself but “went along with it” because she “wanted to make him happy.”

Richardson posted images of herself online to see what response they would get and was horrified when reading some of the comments, ranging from "Ooh, I'd tap that" to "I want to rape you now."

When the presenter took the evidence to the police they told her that, because she consented to having the photos taken in the first place, she was to blame. "It made me feel abused, abused, abused," she said. "When I went to the police, they told me it was my fault because I consented to take the pictures. It was my fault."

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Let’s hope that the government’s crackdown on revenge porn — Honeybell’s case aside — goes some way to cut down on the distribution of private sexual images of someone without their consent. Images covered by the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill include those posted to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as those shared via text message, via email or on a website. Offline physical copies of an image are also included.

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