Preston man who used private image of woman's breasts on social media is taken to court

A man who changed his Whats App profile image to a private photograph of a woman’s breasts has been hauled before the courts.

By Stef Hall
Friday, 24th May 2019, 12:43 pm
Updated Friday, 24th May 2019, 1:43 pm
Magistrates' Court
Magistrates' Court

John Nickson, 27, of Staining Avenue, Ashton-on-Ribble, Preston, has pleaded guilty to disclosing a private sexual photograph with intent to cause distress - an offence under recent ‘revenge porn’ laws.

Prosecuting, Alex Mann said the offence had “no doubt caused upset” to the woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, and that it was “intended to cause distress and humiliation”.

The court was told the defendant, who works as a ground maintenance operative, and the woman fell out on April 20 after he saw her wearing his T-shirt - he had asked for it back.

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Magistrates' Court

Miss Mann said: “ At that point she didn’t want to get changed and told him to leave.

“She didn’t have access to his social media accounts, but she said he randomly unblocked her at midnight and sent a message on What’s App asking why she was wearing his clothing and that he was p***ed off.

“She replied, telling him to leave her alone.”

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Nickson changed his profile picture to some naked breasts, saying: ‘Happy Easter’, then changed the picture again - this time to a picture of the victim’s breasts and it remained his profile picture for several minutes.

He sent her a message the next day apologising.

Defending, Paolo Passerini said: “ The defendant has never tried to shy away from his responsibilities and has always admitted the offence.

“He has lost his good name as a consequence of his guilty plea.

“It was taken down after two minutes.

“There was no facial image and only the six people on his Whats App group could possibly, at 1.30am, have seen it. An extremely limited number, and there’s no suggestion anyone actually has.”

The chairman of the bench said: “What you’ve done is completely and utterly stupid - you know that, we all know that, but we aren’t going to punish you immediately.”

He was given a conditional discharge and must pay a £20 surcharge and £85 costs.