Cyber crime is one of the widest and fastest developing areas of criminal law. It is also one of the most complex, due to the transient nature of online information and international elements regularly involved in the illegal use of computers. The law is therefore constantly evolving in response to increased instances of more frequently occurring criminality online, while multiagency cooperation and intelligence sharing is also on the rise to tackle compute crime and fraud.
Defending these allegations requires technical expertise and genuine experience; we have both. We have an excellent proven track record of success with these cases and we work with leading IT analysts and experts. Whether you are accused of hacking or identity theft, or a more serious offence having accessed indecent images online, we can help. Here we provide a brief overview of the law relating to computer-based criminality, including internet fraud and offences connected to accessing indecent images online.
Internet Fraud & Cyber Crime
Cybercrime is a term used to describe a range of offences that can be committed through communication technology, e.g. industrial espionage; fraud; email hacking; use of malware; interception of data; electronic crime; identity theft; hacking into government/financial institutions; virus attacks; data espionage and theft; credit card theft; phishing; extremism; terrorism; trolling; and harassment, to name but a few.
Primarily investigated by the National Crime Agency’s National Cyber Crime Unit, cybercrime commonly covers two categories:
- offences committed under the Misuse of Computer Acts 1990, such as hacking or stealing data; or,
- where technology facilitates the commission of an offence, such as fraud or accessing indecent images.
Lewis Nedas can help those being investigated and/or charged with any criminal offences relating to the internet and online services. We have specialist knowledge of how these cases are prosecuted and are able to give concise, expert and direct advice on all matters relating to cases of this nature. Miles Herman has successfully defended many large-scale cybercrime cases and Siobhain Egan defended the first major prosecution of email and telephone hacking by former and serving Metropolitan Police Officers working for AIS, a private investigation agency (also known as “The Jimmy Choo bugging case”).
Computer Crime - Extreme Pornography & Indecent Images
Accessing indecent or prohibited images online is one of the most serious, sensitive issues, particularly with reference to the downloading and supply of child pornography. Again, this is a highly complex, technical area which requires mature handling and experience.
Under the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 Act it is illegal to be in possession of any photographs, films and particularly computer data on a hard drive that is of an extreme pornographic nature. Extreme pornography is defined as an image of an act that threatens a person’s life or is likely to result in serious injury.
There are also a number of offences specific to child abuse images, including:
- taking, distributing, showing or advertising any indecent photograph of a child under section 1 of the Protection of Children Act 1978;
- possessing an indecent photograph of a child under section 160 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988;
- possessing a prohibited image of a child under section 62 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009;
- causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity under section 10 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003;
- engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child under section 11 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.
Child exploitation is being given intense focus by prosecuting authorities across the world, with cross-jurisdiction intelligence sharing on the increase. In the UK, the NCA’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) regularly collaborates with UK police forces, other criminal justice agencies and international non-governmental organisations. Not only because of the cross-border nature of online offending but also due to the sheer scale of offending either carried out online, through peer to peer websites or messaging. CEOP is therefore targeting those in positions of trust, such as former police officers, teachers and doctors.
Please refer to our case list to see some of our successful results in this field.
Contact our Specialist Computer Crime (Pornography) & Fraud Solicitors
If you are concerned that you are being investigated or have been approached by the police in regard to accessing child abuse images, it is vital that you get the best legal advice available. At Lewis Nedas, our dedicated cybercrime lawyers can help. Partner Tony Meisels is our highly regarded expert in this area. He has vast experience defending cases involving indecent image of children and extreme pornographic images and understands the extreme pressure these cases can put on those accused as well as their families. For a sensitive yet robust approach to criminal defence in this area, please contact us on 020 7387 2032 or complete our online enquiry form.