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Man, 39, who sent nude photos of himself to girl, 15, and woman becomes first person in UK convicted of ‘cyberflashing’

A MAN who sent nude photos of himself to a girl AND a woman has become the first person in the UK to be convicted of “cyberflashing”.

Nicholas Hawkes, 39, was already a convicted sex offender when he sent unsolicited images to his victims – one of which was a 15-year-old schoolgirl.

PANicholas Hawkes is the first person to be jailed for cyberflashing[/caption]

Pervert Hawkes carried out the disgusting acts on February 9 this year – less than a month after cyberflashing became an offence on January 31.

The woman, who was in her 60s, took screenshots of the photograph on WhatsApp and reported Hawkes to Essex Police the same day.

Southend Crown Court heard on Tuesday that Hawkes had asked to use his dad’s phone to call his probation officer on that evening.

He then went into another room where he sent the indecent photo via WhatsApp on the mobile.

Minutes later, on the same device, he sent an explicit image to the child over iMessage, who was said to have been left “overwhelmed and crying”.

Hawkes was previously convicted of sexual activity with a child under the age of 16 and exposure.

Prosecuting, David Barr said the offences “fall as part of an established pattern of behaviour of the defendant”.

The court heard Hawkes’ offending has been exclusively sexual in nature and started after he was kidnapped, stabbed and held at a £5,000 ransom demanded from his father when he was 31 years old.

Barry Gilbert, defending, argued Hawkes does not receive sexual gratification from his offending.

Mr Gilbert claimed Hawkes instead “does it to create chaos when he’s under personal pressure” as a result of his PTSD following the attack.

However, Judge Samantha Leigh rejected the argument that he did not receive sexual gratification.

She said: “You clearly are deeply disturbed and have a warped view of yourself and your sexual desires.

“There is a duty that I have that is a duty to protect, there is only one sentence for this set of offending – it clearly crosses the custody threshold.”

What is cyberflashing?

Cyber flashing is when you receive unsolicited sexual images of someone over the phone.

However, it can become a lot more complicated than the already intrusive nude on Snapchat.

AirDrop, the iPhone feature is being used by strangers to send naked pictures of themselves to people near them in busy public areas.

It’s usually done anonymously, as all you can see when you’re sent an image- which isn’t censored when the preview comes up – is the name of the iPhone, and this can be personalised by the user to absolutely anything.

Hawkes admitted during an earlier hearing at Southend Magistrates’ Court to two counts of sending a photograph or film of genitals to cause alarm, distress, or humiliation.

On Tuesday he pleaded guilty to breaching his previous order and breaching a suspended sentence for another sexual offence.

He sentenced to 66 weeks for his recent offences and will serve half of that behind bars before being released on license.

Hawkes was handed a restraining order for both women lasting 10 years.

He is also banned from approaching women he does not know on public highways and in parks for 15 years.

Cyberflashing can involve offenders sending people an unsolicited sexual image on social media, dating apps, Bluetooth or Airdrop.

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



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