Saturday 1 October 2016

Revenge porn posted by transgendered man after dog row with former lesbian lover

Benjamin Wright

Published 11/09/2015 | 18:04

Judge's gavel
Judge's gavel

A transgendered man posted revenge porn pictures of his ex-girlfriend online following a 3am drunken row about getting his dog back.

  • Go To

Caerphilly Magistrates Court heard that Jesse Hawthorne suddenly turned up at his former lesbian lover's house party demanding the return of his pet Jug called Charlie.

Justices of the peace were told the 23-year-old was born as Jessica and had been in a lesbian relationship with the woman for two-and-a-half years before deciding to undergo a sex change.

Three months after their break up, Hawthorne was on the way back home from a night out when he tried to sneak into his ex-partner's home to snatch back his puppy.

However, he was spotted entering the property and the ensuing row saw his ex-girlfriend's car damaged.

Around six weeks after the early morning row, he later posted a sexual photograph of his former partner on Facebook.

Although magistrates cleared Hawthorne of four counts of criminal charges - he still could face a prison term after previously admitting disclosing a private sexual photograph or film with the intention of causing distress.

The specific offence of revenge porn became illegal after the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill received Royal Assent earlier this year.

Offenders can be jailed for up to two years following conviction.

Prosecutor Sam Shepherd said the row over the dog happened in the early hours of May 2.

"The complainant had previously been in a lesbian relationship with the defendant, who is now undergoing a sex change," he told the court.

"On the morning in question she had returned home with friends following a night out in Cardiff ... and later the defendant arrived with the intention of taking back his dog."

The woman said Hawthorne suddenly opened the front door to her house, while she and her friends were having a "few drinks" and listening to music.

Eyewitness Laurie Jones said Hawthorne then tried to take the pet Pug out of her arms demanding "give me back my dog" before he was taken outside by her then boyfriend Mark Passmore.

Mr Passmore told the court: "After that he came back with a golf club ... and was swinging it at his ex-girlfriend's car. He took the wing mirror off and then smashed the headlights of Laurie's car and dented the bonnet."

Mr Passmore said he tried to take the club off Hawthorne but was caught on the fingers - before it was thrown into a neighbouring garden - but he decided not to press charges.

Miss Jones told the court that Hawthorne had broken her mobile phone after slapping it out of her hand as she tried to ring the police.

Police officers later found Miss Jones's car headlights broken as well as marks on her bonnet.

However, defending solicitor Mark Battrick said there were several inconsistencies with the trio's evidence.

Mr Battrick said all three had denied being drunk that evening - but were described by a police officer as "heavily intoxicated".

"What we have been given are three very different versions of events," he said. "However, my client has been consistent and very honest about his actions that night."

In evidence, Hawthorne admitted being drunk that evening and his intention to take back his dog - because he feared it was not being looked after properly.

"I know what I did was stupid ... going around early in the morning to get my dog back," he said.

"I was on my way home and heard them all off their faces and I was worried about my dog being in that kind of environment.

"I wish I had never gone there."

Hawthorne also denied using a golf club on his ex-girlfriend's car, saying the damage had been caused after Mr Passmore hurled him against the vehicle.

He said he could not explain the damage which had been caused to Miss Jones's car or her Samsung mobile.

Mr Battrick said the £810 compensation sought by Miss Jones would be "quite a lot of money" for someone who was out of work.

Following more than an hour and a half of discussions, magistrates returned a not guilty verdict on four counts of criminal damage.

They were told that Hawthorne had previously pleaded guilty to the revenge porn offence, which occurred on June 27 and the victim was the defendant's former lover.

Hawthorne will be sentenced at Newport Magistrates' Court on October 7.

The court heard the Probation Service would need time to complete a report on Hawthorne because of his "unique circumstances".

Press Association

Read More

Promoted articles

Editors Choice

Also in World News