Man charged with “revenge porn”

If Mitchel Brindley and his girlfriend had broken up just a week earlier, he wouldn’t be facing jail time.

But in a fortuitous stroke of luck, the 24-year-old Perth man made a stupid decision just a few days after new laws came into effect in WA, which make it illegal to distribute an intimate image of another without consent

These laws kicked in on April 15 – and Mitchell created a fake instagram account and posted pictures of his ex on April 19.


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It is alleged that after the profile was taken down, he created four more profiles, sharing a total of 10 personal images.

Under the Criminal Law Amendment Act (Intimate Images Act) 2018, it is now considered a crime to share intimate images – which can include an image of a person naked, partially naked or wearing underwear – without the consent of the person who appears in the photos.

It is also now a crime to distribute images of a person who is engaging in a private act such as using the toilet, showering or bathing, without their consent. Sharing images that have been edited, such as where a person’s face is superimposed onto a body, is a crime under the legislation, too.

This is much-needed legal reform at a time when revenge porn has the potential to ruin people’s lives.

WA Premier Mark McGowan said the new laws were passed to make sure that anyone who goes down this path “can be held criminally accountable”.

“It is an appalling crime that can damage a person for the rest of their lives – someone you allegedly were close to,” he says.

“I’ll let the courts run their course, but it is one of those obscene crimes that people deserve to be held accountable for.”

Mitchell faces a jail term of up to 18 months to three years, and a fine of up to $18,000. He’ll be sentenced on July 22.

Currently five of Australia’s states and territories recognise revenge porn as a crime: Western Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland.

It only became a criminal offence in Queensland a few months ago, with those convicted of sharing revenge porn facing up to three years in jail.

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