Nathan Staples, from Haverhill, is sentenced for ‘revenge porn’ against former girlfriend

Nathan Staples appears at Bury Magistrates Court.

Nathan Staples appears at Bury Magistrates Court. - Credit: Archant

A young man from west Suffolk has been sentenced for so-called ‘revenge porn’ in what is believed to be one of the first cases of its kind in the county.

A young man from west Suffolk has been sentenced for so-called ‘revenge porn’ in what is believed to be one of the first cases of its kind in the county.

Nathan Staples, 28, from Haverhill, who had previously spent two years in the Royal Anglian Regiment, had admitted the new offence of disclosing a private sexual photograph with intent to cause distress.

Staples, of Park Road, published a photo of his naked former girlfriend on social media website Facebook out of spite after their relationship had ended.

Yesterday, Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court heard the young woman had been embarrassed and humiliated by the disclosure, which was a breach of trust, and had received unwanted male attention.


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Staples was sentenced to a 12-month community order, with 60 hours of unpaid work and 10 days rehabilitation with a requirement to cover alcohol, substance misuse and general wellbeing.

He was also ordered to pay costs totalling £325, £300 compensation to the victim and was issued with a restraining order for two years.

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Just before sentencing, magistrate Mike Sweeting told Staples it was a “particularly nasty case”.

“It’s something that could affect the life of [name removed] for the rest of her life,” he said.

He added while Declan Gallagher, mitigating, had said it was not a publically-accessible Facebook page, people could copy an image and the next thing it was “worldwide”.

He said the offence was “planned against a targeted victim” and he had “deliberately isolated her as the victim”.

Ian Devine, prosecuting, said Staples and his former partner, who has not been named to prevent further distress, had been in a relationship.

When it came to an end, she had thought nothing of the photo, but later discovered the image was on Facebook.

She reported it to the police, and the defendant was arrested.

The court heard Staples had been under the influence of alcohol when he posted the image, which he did “more or less due to spite” due to the ending of their relationship.

Mr Devine said: “It’s been hugely embarrassing for her for that photograph to be published in such a fashion and at such risk to her future.”

The defendant, who works for a specialist construction company dealing with fire protection, claimed the image showed her naked bottom and part of her genital area from a side view but didn’t show her face.

Mr Gallagher said: “He put it up, thought better of it and took it down after 20 minutes.”

Neil Tozer, from the probation service, believed Staples was sincere in his sorrow for what he had done.

“He seems to lead a generally responsible life. He has worked for the same company for seven years and lives with his parents and has no debts,” he said.

Mr Sweeting told Staples, who is now in a new relationship, his sentence was a “punishment” but also an opportunity for him to deal with his inner problems.

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