‘Incredibly naive’ woman avoids jail after sharing indecent video

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Fatima Da Silva (42) appeared in the Royal Court on Friday charged with distributing an indecent image after the police raided her St Saviour home in September last year and found a phone containing the single illicit clip.

The defendant had been facing a jail term of up to ten years for the offence but was handed a 12-month suspended sentence and put on the Sex Offenders Register for one year. During sentencing, the court emphasised that the case was ‘unique’ and ‘does not set a precedent’.

After being arrested following the raid, Da Silva said the clip had been sent to her on social media but that she could not remember the name of the person who had forwarded it to her.

Da Silva’s boss said that, two months prior to her arrest, she came to him, wanting to show him something and seemed concerned.

He added that after she showed him a very short portion of the clip, he asked her to stop it and told her that it was ‘very, very seriously wrong’, she should delete it and block the person who sent it to her.

In voice messages left for a person to whom she sent the clip, she was heard to say: ‘Please watch this video to see what is happening to children these days.’

She later added: ‘I don’t know what is wrong with the world; children at that age don’t have any sense to know what they are doing. At that age, I did not know anything.

‘These children should be watching cartoons, not doing adult things.’

Crown Advocate Lauren Hallam, prosecuting, called on the court to impose a sentence of 18 months’ imprisonment, saying that the distribution of such videos fuelled demand and their subsequent production.

Advocate Rui Tremoceiro, defending, said there was evidence to show that his client had no sexual interest in children, that she had been assessed at low risk of reconviction and that she posed no risk to others.

‘Expressions such as “this is a unique case” or “these are unique circumstances” are overused but, if there was ever a case before the court that features this description, this is that case,’ he said.

‘I cannot think of any right-thinking member of society who can conclude that she should be sent to prison for what she has done.’

Mr Tremoceiro added that even a suspended sentence would be too extreme and instead called for a binding-over order to be imposed.

Lieutenant-Bailiff Anthony Olsen, delivering the sentence of the court, said: ‘We are not in doubt that you acted as you did with good motives but you were incredibly naive. Even after your employer said that what you showed him was wrong, you continued to distribute it.

‘But you had no sexual interest in children and received no sexual gratification and instead did so to warn others but it went horribly wrong.’

He added: ‘This is a wholly exceptional case and this in no way sets a precedent. The court’s sentencing policy remains undisturbed.’

Da Silva’s phone will be destroyed.

Jurats Charles Blampied and Steven Austin-Vautier were sitting.

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