13 Reasons Why is currently making waves as a much watch Netflix Original Series. But would you believe that there are at least 13 offences committed throughout the 13 episodes? Over the next 11 days I will be continuing to post blogs about the 13 different offences I have found and what could happen should you be arrested or charged with them.

The Sentencing Council website can be found here.

3. Possession/Distribution or Production of Indecent Images (Criminal Justice Act 1988, s.160, Protection of Children Act 1978 (section 1))

Having possession of indecent images of a child is an extremely serious offence. It is an either way offence which mean it can be Tried in either the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court. However, the serious nature of this offence means that it is likely to be allocated to the Crown Court.

There are different categories under this offence and they relate to whether it’s possession, distribution or production of the images. Each category will ascertain the outcome of any sentencing.

Category A images relate to possession, distribution or production of images involving penetrative sexual activity or possession of images involving sexual activity with an animal or sadism. The lowest sentencing range for images of this category is 26 weeks’ imprisonment depending on the range of images possessed. You could be sentenced to as much as 9 years’ imprisonment if there is production of images of Category A involved.

Category B images relate to possession, distribution or production of images involving non-penetrative sexual activity. The range of sentencing for this offence can be as low as a high-level Community Order for possession but could be up to 4 years’ imprisonment if any Production is involved.

Category C covers indecent images that do not fall in either Category A or B. The range for possession of Category C images can be as low as a medium-level community order but you could be sentenced to as much as 3 years’ imprisonment for production charges.

There are a lot of aggravating factors that can affect the sentencing for this offence, for example if the subject of the photos knows the Defendant or if there is any vulnerability of the subject. This can often be the decider as to whether the case will be heard in the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court.

Please remember, if a guilty plea is entered at the earliest opportunity then a reduction can be given in relation to sentence. We would seriously recommend that if you are interviewed or arrested on suspicion of these offences that you obtain legal representation.

Being an imprisonable offence means that there is the chance of being eligible for Legal Aid. This means that any representation at Court could be at no cost to the Defendant as all costs incurred will be met from public funds. (This does depend on the Defendant’s income and financial circumstances). You may need to pay a contribution towards Legal Aid in the Crown Court.


 We at Ringrose Law understand how worrying it can be if you are arrested in relation to any offence. We would always recommend that you obtain Legal Representation if you are arrested or interviewed. You are entitled to free and independent Legal advice at the Police Station.

Contact our Criminal Defence team who will be able to represent you at the Police Station on any matter, covered by the Legal Aid Agency’s Advice and Assistance Scheme. We have offices in Boston, Lincoln, Spalding, Sleaford, Grantham and Newark.

Prev: Common Assault (Section 39. Offences Against the Person Act 1988)

Next: Criminal Damage (Section1(1) of the Criminal Damage Act 1971

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