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24-Year-Old Becomes First Woman To Be Convicted Of Revenge Porn

Paige Mitchell, 24, admitted posting explicit images of her then girlfriend to Facebook.

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The first woman to be convicted under revenge porn legislation today admitted posting explicit pictures of her then girlfriend on Facebook.

National Pictures / National Pictures / David Mirzoeff

Paige Mitchell, 24, arrives at Stevenage magistrates' court on Tuesday

The court heard that Mitchell uploaded four images to Facebook following a violent row in May, after she accused her girlfriend of looking at other women, the Press Association reported.

The court heard that the images were removed just 30 minutes after they were uploaded, after Mitchell's mum told her she was breaking the law.

Mitchell admitted one count of publishing sexual images with intent to cause distress, which became illegal in the UK in February. Mitchell is thought to be the first woman to convicted of the crime, following the conviction of more than 10 men.

The chairman of the bench, Bette Hindmarch, told the court: "Posting the photos on the internet was a highly vindictive invasion of privacy. It was done with the intention of humiliating and hurting your victim."

Mitchell's lawyer said that she later reconciled her differences with her girlfriend, but added that she nevertheless welcomed a restraining order so that the relationship would end.

In a victim statement read out in court, the girlfriend said: "People who I didn't want to see my body have seen me [naked]. I don't want to feel like that."

A spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service said in a statement: "Mitchell is believed to be the first female to be prosecuted for revenge pornography under the new legislation which makes it an offence to disclose private sexual photographs and films without the consent of the individual who appears in them and with the intent to cause that individual distress.

"At an earlier hearing Mitchell admitted attacking the victim during an argument. She then went on to post explicit photos of the victim on to her Facebook profile later that day.

"Mitchell went on to caption the pictures with humiliating insults and even referenced the assault."

Joanna Coleman, deputy chief crown prosecutor for CPS Thames and Chiltern, said: "These vengeful crimes are predominantly thought of as being carried out by men. This sentencing will highlight that anyone can be guilty of this offence and regardless of the defendant's gender, once reported, it will be taken seriously."

Patrick Smith is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Patrick Smith at patrick.smith@buzzfeed.com.

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