Pervert becomes first man in England to be jailed for cyber-flashing

The first person in England and Wales to be convicted of a cyber-flashing offence, has been jailed for 66 weeks for sending unsolicited explicit photos to a 15-year-old girl and a woman.

Nicholas Hawkes was handed the sentence at Southend Crown Court today, after sending pictures of his erect penis to the teenage girl on February 9.

Cyberflashing became an offence in England and Wales on January 31 as part of the Online Safety Act.

The 39-year-old registered sex offender from Basildon, Essex, admitted two counts of sending a photograph or film of genitals to cause alarm, distress, or humiliation, after he was reported to police the same day he sent the pictures.

After Hawkes was convicted back in February, Sefer Mani, from CPS East of England, said: “Cyberflashing is a grotesque crime and the fact we were able to deliver swift justice for the two victims shows the new law is working.

“Everyone should feel safe wherever they are and not be subjected to receiving unwanted sexual images.

“I urge anyone who feels they have been a victim of cyberflashing to report it to the police and know that they will be taken seriously and have their identities protected.”

Hawkes will remain on the sex offenders register until November 2033, after he was convicted of sexual activity with a child under 16 and exposure at Basildon Crown Court last year.

He was also handed a community order, which he will be sentenced for breaching, alongside the cyberflashing offence, at his court appearance in March.

Victims of cyberflashing and image-based abuse receive lifelong anonymity under the Sexual Offences Act from the point they report the offence.

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