Saturday 20 October 2018

Anyone jailed for distributing 'revenge porn' will be listed as a sex offender under proposed new laws

The Government has agreed to back Labour leader Brendan Howlin’s bill addressing the issue Photo: Stock Image
The Government has agreed to back Labour leader Brendan Howlin’s bill addressing the issue Photo: Stock Image
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

A PERSON found guilty of distributing “revenge porn” and sentenced to jail will be listed as a sex offender under proposed new laws.

The Government has agreed to abandon work on their own legislation tackling revenge porn and online harassment and back Labour leader Brendan Howlin’s bill addressing the issue.

The Government believes Labour’s bill, introduced last May, is the quickest way to ensure legislation in the area.

It will address four key areas including the creation of an offence in relation to the “non-consensual distribution of intimate images”. This offence is to be a sexual offence as per the Sex Offenders Act if the offender serves a prison sentence.

The age of the victim of revenge porn or their ability to protect themselves is to be considered an aggravating factor when it comes to sentencing.

The bill also expands the definition of threatening or indecent messages to include messages sent using all forms of communication. The offence of harassment will also be extended to include online and digital communications.

Minors may be prosecuted under the proposed laws with permission from the DPP.

The Attorney General has advised that amendments will need to be made to the new bill before it can be safely passed and it is not expected that the new legislation will be fast-tracked ahead of the summer recess.

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