What are Pseudo Photographs & Images Charges?

23rd May 2024
Massimo Trebar headshot

Massimo Trebar


Pseudo-photographs or prohibited images involve digitally manipulated or computer-generated representations that simulate sexual activity, often depicting children or individuals who appear to be children. Our experienced legal team understands the complexities of these cases and is committed to providing robust defence strategies tailored to your specific circumstances. With a focus on protecting your rights and achieving the best possible outcome, we stand ready to advocate for you every step of the way.

What are pseudo photographs and images?

Pseudo-photographs and prohibited images are digitally manipulated or computer-generated representations that appear to be real photographs but are, in fact, entirely fictional or artificially created. They can involve altering existing images or fabricating new ones through software manipulation. 

Pseudo-photographs blur the line between reality and fiction, often used for deceptive purposes or in creative contexts. While they may resemble genuine photographs, they lack authenticity and depict scenes or subjects that never existed in reality. 

What are pseudo-photos in relation to UK laws?

In the UK, pseudo-photographs or prohibited images refer to images that simulate sexual activity, either involving children or individuals who appear to be children, regardless of whether real children were involved in their creation. These images are considered illegal under the Protection of Children Act 1978 and the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008.

The UK law criminalises the possession, distribution, and creation of such images to protect children from exploitation and abuse. Even possessing computer-generated or digitally manipulated images that depict child sexual abuse is still a criminal offence, highlighting the severity with which the UK treats child protection laws.

Are pseudo-photography offences treated the same as indecent image charges?

Pseudo-photography and indecent image charges are treated with similar gravity. Both offences, whether involving computer-generated simulations or real images, fall under stringent child protection legislation. Perpetrators face prosecution, potentially leading to imprisonment, fines, and registration as sex offenders. 

The legal system prioritises the safeguarding of children, and prosecuting those involved in the creation, possession, or distribution of such material.

What are the sentencing guidelines for pseudo-photographs?

The UK’s Protection of Children Act 1978 imposes stringent sentencing guidelines for indecent or pseudo-photographs of children. Offences including taking, making, circulating, or possessing such images with intent to distribute can result in a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment. Additionally, under section 160 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988, the mere possession of these images constitutes an offence, punishable by up to five years imprisonment.

What defence is there against pseudo images?

If you or someone you know has been accused of such an offence, it is important to stay calm as several defence strategies can be used. 

One of them is to claim a lack of intent or knowledge, arguing that the accused was not aware of the illicit nature of the material and had accidentally viewed child pornography. Another possibility is to question the authenticity or accuracy of the evidence presented, by challenging the credibility of digital forensic analysis or the source of the images. 

Defendants might also dispute that the images meet the legal definition of pseudo-images, highlighting the absence of simulated sexual activity involving children or individuals who appear to be children. 

In any case, it’s important to have skilled indecent images solicitors like Lawtons who can provide an effective defence tailored to the case’s specific circumstances.

What should you do if you’re accused of possessing pseudo-images?

If you’re accused of possessing pseudo-images or prohibited images, it’s absolutely crucial to seek legal advice immediately. The consequences of not doing so can be devastating. That’s why you need Lawtons Solicitors on your team – we specialise in defending individuals facing such charges and have a proven track record of achieving positive outcomes. 

After doing so, you must refrain from discussing the case with anyone other than your legal representative, and preserve all evidence, including digital devices. Don’t delete or alter any files – doing so can be used against you in court. Cooperate with law enforcement, but remember to exercise your legal rights, such as the right to remain silent. 

To give us as your solicitors the best chance of building a successful defence strategy, provide truthful information. Working together with experienced legal counsel, you can navigate the legal process effectively and protect your rights. Don’t wait – contact Lawtons today.

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