Categories of indecent images—summary
Produced in partnership with Monica Stevenson of 25 Bedford Row
Categories of indecent images—summary

The following Corporate Crime practice note produced in partnership with Monica Stevenson of 25 Bedford Row provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Categories of indecent images—summary
  • Offences pre-2007
  • Offences between 2007–2014
  • Offences post 1 April 2014
  • Category of image
  • Variety of different images
  • Starting points and sentencing ranges
  • Application of the offence specific guidelines

Offences pre-2007

Before 14 May 2007, the guidelines for the sentencing of indecent image cases were to be found in the case of R v Oliver. This was referred to as the 'Oliver scale' system of rating indecent images:

  1. Level 1—images depicting erotic posing with no sexual activity

  2. Level 2—sexual activity between children, or solo masturbation by a child

  3. Level 3—non-penetrative sexual activity between children and adults

  4. Level 4—penetrative sexual activity between children and adults

  5. Level 5—sadism or bestiality

Offences between 2007–2014

For offenders falling to be sentenced on the law which applied between May 2007 and 1 April 2014 (historic sex offences), the approach to sentencing is outlined in Annex B to the (now archived) Sentencing Council's Sexual Offences Definitive Sentencing Guideline.

Offences post 1 April 2014

The Sentencing Council has published offence specific guidelines for cases concerning possession, distribution and/or the production of indecent photographs of children under both section 1 of the Protection of Children Act 1978 (PCA 1978) and section 160 of the

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