Jail for Facebook photo

November 13th, 2010 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Dom Post reports:

A jilted lover has made legal history by being jailed for posting a photograph of his ex-girlfriend naked for millions of Facebook users to see.

After 12 hours, police and Facebook authorities shut down the woman’s account but not before it was available to all 500 million active users of the social network.

Joshua Simon Ashby, 20, held a piece of paper over his face yesterday in an attempt to prevent The Dominion Post photographing him as he was being sentenced.

Judge Andrew Becroft, in Wellington District Court, allowed Ashby’s photo to be taken, saying “there was a certain symmetry to it”, then stepped in to tell Ashby not to hide his face.

Yeah if you post naked photos of your ex for revenge, you can’t expect to have the media unable to take your photo.

Ashby posted the photo in an “irresponsible drunken jealous rage” after the breakup of their five-month relationship, the judge said.

It is believed to be the first time someone has been sentenced for a crime committed using social media under the seldom-used morality and decency section of the Crimes Act.

At first I thought jail might be over the top, but then I see he was not sentenced only for the photo.

The Island Bay painter was jailed for four months after pleading guilty to a charge of distributing indecent matter and six others of threatening to kill, wilful damage, theft of the woman’s clothes, and assault.

He had included in text messages to her on July 23: “I’m going to kill you” and “Dead bitch”. He then posted a photograph he had of her naked in front of a mirror to her Facebook page. Initially, 218 of her friends had access to it, but Ashby then made it publicly available and changed her password. Her friends saw the photo and texted her to tell her.

A very nasty piece of work.

At the same time as the Facebook incident, Ashby stole two of the woman’s dresses, soaked them in water and cut them up. She forgave him and they reunited briefly before a drunken argument in October led to Ashby pushing her to the ground and snapping her cellphone in half.

Oh, why did she go back to him. The moment anyone texts their ex to say “I’m going to kill you”, the Police should be breaking down his front door and arresting him.

I think he is lucky to only have four months jail.

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