First man convicted of cyberflashing in England and Wales

First man convicted of cyberflashing

First man convicted of cyberflashing in England and Wales

A 39-year-old man named Nicholas Hawkes in England and Wales has become the first person whom officials convicted of cyberflashing. Nicholas Hawkes belongs to Basildon, Essex town.

Cyberflashing is when someone sends sexual pictures or videos to someone without them knowing. The person who gets these images does not realize it until that person opens the message or app.

Cyberflashing became an offense in January of this year as part of the Online Safety Act in the United Kingdom. According to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Nicholas sent unwanted images of his erect penis to a 15-year-old girl and a woman on Feb 9, 2024.

Consequently, the woman captured the images of the photograph on WhatsApp and reported a complaint against Nicholas to Essex police on the same day. Following that, Nicholas Hawkes became the first man in the United Kingdom to be convicted of cyberflashing.

According to CPS, Nicholas admitted to two counts of providing a photograph or film of genitals. He committed this act to cause fear, distress, or humiliation in Southend magistrates court.

The magistrate’s court convicted him guilty at the hearing. They also sent him back to jail until March 11 when he will be trialed further at Basildon Crown Court.

According to CPS, Nicholas Hawkes was already a registered sex offender until Nov 2033. Earlier, he also faced conviction and jail sentence to a community order at Basildon Crown Court last year. He faced two years jail sentence for sexual activity with a minor under the age of 16.

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Nicholas will also face punishment for violating the law in the same manner as the most recent offense in March 2024. Sefer Mani from CPS East of England said Cyberflashing is a horrible crime. The fact that they were able to help the two victims right away shows that the new law is working.

According to Sefer, no matter where cyber flashers are. Everyone should feel safe and not have to deal with unwanted sexual images. If someone thinks they fall victim to cyberflashing, please inform the cops. The victim person can be sure cops will take this report seriously and keep victims’ identities safe.

However, victims of cyberflashing and image-based abuse have permanent anonymity under the Sexual Offences Act from the moment they file their report.

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