A ground-breaking case involving damages for “sexting” was decided on 1st December 2015. The case involved a teenage girl at an independent special needs school who was encouraged by a male teacher to send sexually-explicit text messages and photographs of herself to him.
In this case, the court concluded that the teenage girl had suffered psychological harm as a direct result of sending the sexually-explicit text messages and photographs. The judgement means that anyone who engages in sexting must be sure that the other person is consenting to the exchange of messages and is not a vulnerable person.
This is one of the most significant rulings in this type of law where technology is so heavily involved. Nowadays, where online dating and the use of various different forms of social media are available, this type of behaviour, especially between younger generations, is almost certainly a frequent occurrence. In fact, the National Crime Agency reported in June 2015 that child protection officers investigate, on average, one case which involves sexting every day.
Given the length of time it has taken for one case in this type of law to be ruled upon, it shows that these type of cases are difficult to prove and legal advice should always be sought, as to the way forward, in such cases.
If you would like advice or further information on the above, please contact a member of our Litigation team on 01234 270600.