Peterborough man sent intimate picture of ex-girlfriend on Facebook after being stabbed

Eastbourne Hastings Bexhill Rye Battle Herald Observer
Eastbourne Hastings Bexhill Rye Battle Herald Observer

A man who shared an intimate picture of a former girlfriend with her brother as he lay in a hospital bed with a punctured lung has been spared a jail term.

Ryan MacDonald (19) of Fen View, Stanground, was given a community order at Peterborough Crown Court on Thursday after admitting sending the picture on November 29.

Judge David Farrell, sentencing, said people who post intimate pictures of others online normally face an immediate jail sentence - but because the photograph would only be visible to MacDonald’s former girlfriend and her brother, he could pass the community sentence.

The court heard MacDonald had been to his ex’s house, and had been involved in an incident with her mother in which he was stabbed and suffered a punctured lung.

He was taken to hospital, where it was revealed he had suffered a punctured lung. The court was told he had been stabbed, and the ex-girlfriend’s mother had been given a suspended jail sentence.

Mrs Devas said: “The complainant did not get home until after midnight, and she was notified by her brother that there were photographs on Facebook.”

Defending, Joseph McKenna told the court: “This is a rather unusual matter in relation to the type of offences the law is supposed to stop.

“This message was not sent world wide, it was sent to two people.

“He accepts that he meant to cause distress and accepts full responsibility.

“He was not thinking straight, he was lying in a hospital bed dosed up on morphine.”

Mr McKenna said MacDonald would like to do unpaid work, as he is looking for paid employment at the moment.

The court was also told he had been on an electronically monitored curfew for seven months while on bail during the court proceedings - the equivalent of a three-and-a-half month prison sentence.

Judge Farrell said: “People who post sexual images on social media so that they go viral expect to go immediately to custody.

“But I accept there are exceptional circumstances in this case, as you were in pain and were angry. This does not excuse what you did, but it does explain it.”

MacDonald pleaded guilty to disclosing private sexual photographs.

He was given a 12 month community order, with a rehabilitation activity requirement for 30 days.

Judge Farrell added: “I hope this will enable you to move on from this. It has been mentioned you might welcome unpaid work - well get paid work. Go out and get a job.”