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Man cautioned in revenge porn probe re-arrested

Published 15/05/2016

The man was held on Saturday for allegedly encouraging a sex offence against a child under 18
The man was held on Saturday for allegedly encouraging a sex offence against a child under 18

A man has been re-arrested and bailed by police as part of a revenge porn investigation.

The suspect, named by sources as 36-year-old Oliver Whiting, was held on Saturday for allegedly encouraging a sex offence against a child under 18.

Whiting, known as Olly, from Eastbourne, East Sussex, was also detained on suspicion of malicious communications over postings on a porn website.

His re-arrest follows criticism, including from victims and campaigners for abused women, after he was cautioned following a report of revenge porn.

Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell expressed her concern to the local police commander about the decision to issue a caution.

After his re-arrest, Whiting's computer was seized and he was bailed by police to August 12 pending further inquiries.

Sussex Police defended their decision to issue a caution after Whiting admitted posting a "private" explicit picture and non-sexual pictures taken from Facebook accounts on to a foreign porn website.

Superintendent Nick May said: "I fully understand the concern and upset it has caused, and apologise for this, especially to the young women involved.

"We understand that such offences make victims feel very vulnerable so making a decision like this isn't easy.

"I have personally spoken to the victims this week and told them that we have listened seriously to their concerns.

"We have gone back and painstakingly reviewed the evidence available in relation to these victims and, taking everything into account that we knew at the time, our decision to caution the 36-year-old man for the offences disclosed was a correct decision in the circumstances.

"Decisions on whether to caution are often complex and are made by officers on a daily basis. Whilst there are guidelines, the final decision is a subjective one."

Mr May said officers have contacted the website requesting the images be taken down but conceded they could not force their removal.

He added: "There has been learning for the organisation in relation to this case that will be shared within the force."

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