Peddling Indecent Images of Children – What Sentence?

The UK Government is consulting on new sentencing guidelines on indecent images of children as part of a wider discussion on new sentencing guidelines for sexual offences.

These offences relate to photographs (including moving images) and also images made, for example, on a computer but which look like real photographs.

The indecent images offences have a statutory maximum of five years’ imprisonment for possession of images and 10 years’ imprisonment for the distribution, taking or making of such images. Sentences passed for any offence cannot be higher than the statutory maximum. The definition of ‘child’ for these offences is anyone under 18 years of age.

Finding illegal child images on a computer system is particularly worrying for an organisation. IT managers need to be aware that any member of staff who sends on a copy of an image they find to a manager by way of reporting it can find themselves subject to criminal proceedings. The law does not help vigilantism!

We have an E RADAR legal briefing on illegal images (different from illicit images which might include soft porn) which can be viewed online at

The consultation closes on 14th March 2013

Further information

To find out more, pleasee visit the consultation website visit