Law: Child Abuse Images – Case Law

There are lots of cases relating to child abuse images, as the law has developed over the years, below are a some of the key tests cases.

R v Fellows and R v Arnold 1996

This test case throw out the challenge that the data on a computer is just ones and zeros, and therefore can not be obsence.

R v Bowden 1999

This case stated that downloading of an indecent photograph from the Internet is “making a copy of an indecent photograph”

R v Oliver, Hartrey & Baldwin 2002

This case introduced and confirmed the following levels for determining the nature of images:

(1)   Images depicting erotic posing with no sexual activity;
(2)   Sexual activity between children, or solo masturbation by a child;
(3)   Non-penetrative sexual activity between adults and children;
(4)   Penetrative sexual activity between children and adults;
(5)   Sadism or bestiality.

R v Jayson 2003

In this case, the Court of Appeal ruled that “the act of voluntarily downloading an indecent image from a web page on to a computer screen is an act of making a photograph or pseudo-photograph”.

R v Ross, Warwick & Porter 2006

This case stated that deleted data was not necessarily possession of data, as the person was no longer in control of it. If the person had “control” of the data would be upto the discretion of the jury, though its now generally accepted that deleted data is not in the “possession” of an individual


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