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Sex Offender and becoming a pilot?

Old 13th Jul 2021, 09:26
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2021
Location: UK
Posts: 15
Sex Offender and becoming a pilot?

As per title says, please take the time to read so I can fully explain my circumstances.

I'm in my early 20s and in the UK. Last year got involved in the hype of dating websites, after going through a nasty breakup of a long term relationship. Got chatting to a nice girl, well spoken, mature, whatnot. She is 17 and just about to finish college, so approx 4.5 years younger than me. She sends me a risque picture of her in her underwear, which I didn't ask for, nor did I think all that much of, aside from being flattered. Eventually the conversation fizzles out and I forget all about it. Looking forward to graduating and heading off to flight school in the summer to complete my fATPL.

Six months later I recieve a message from her. Did I know that what she sent me was illegal, and unless I forwarded her a large lump of cash she would be turning me in to the police? Fine I say, I'll talk to them myself, thinking that as I didn't request the pic and she was now blackmailing me, I would be OK.
Boy was i wrong. I was swiftly arrested and have had my phone, laptop etc taken, only to be informed that the police have retrieved the image and are prosecuting me for one count of indecent images of children.

I'm mortified, beyond mortified, that this has happened. I don't know if I can ever socially or legally recover from this. I'm meant to be starting at L3 in September and don't even know if I can take my place or get a job as a pilot as it looks like I will be convicted and spend 5 years on the sex offenders register.

I am really just looking for some honest, brutal advice, especially since my Mum and Dad's holiday home is on the line here as it was used to take out the loan for my flight training. Am I realistically done for in terms of commercial aviation with a criminal record like this? I'll be on the children's barred list most likely which would probably stop me from instructing too

Honest, brutal advice please. God knows I need it right now.
nothopeful is offline  
Old 13th Jul 2021, 20:03
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Dubai
Age: 41
Posts: 363
I can’t give you any advice but I feel for you. As a man in this day and age it just takes an allegation to destroy your life. As a 22 year old, I’d put it down to being a young and clumsy heterosexual man. Good Luck.
kungfu panda is offline  
Old 13th Jul 2021, 21:24
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Wherever I lay my hat
Posts: 3,331
So what aren't you telling us? If it happened as described then you haven't done anything illegal, although clearly she has.
rudestuff is offline  
Old 13th Jul 2021, 21:42
  #4 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2018
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Posts: 870
You need a lawyer. A good one.
Banana Joe is offline  
Old 13th Jul 2021, 21:59
  #5 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: England
Posts: 401
Its not a crime to receive unrequested messages from the opposite sex. I seem to get a good many unsolicited 'interesting pictures' which I can do nothing about (generally in the Spam box). Unless there is coercion involved, I can see no case against you. Maybe you could mention the blackmail to the authorities. Is a picture of someone in underwear actually illegal?
Capt Scribble is offline  
Old 14th Jul 2021, 02:58
  #6 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Middle East
Posts: 404
Banana Joe

what he said /\

Sounds like you’ve been blackmailed to me. Get a good lawyer and this won’t even get to court. She might even need one too!
reverserunlocked is offline  
Old 14th Jul 2021, 03:11
  #7 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Jul 2021
Location: UK
Posts: 15

The offence as mentioned is one that doesn't require intent. Back in the day, I was taught that age of consent is 16. Before texting, before phones really. We had blackberry's back in the day, and that is if you are lucky.

The age of consent for images, is 18, and the age of consent for carnal relations, relationships etc, is 16. I was blindsided on a technicality, in retrospect yes I should have looked into the laws, but I can say hand on heart that I had no idea you had to be 18 or over for risque pics, hence why I didn't immediately delete it and block- for the purposes of the offence, the image remaining in a local memory of a device is enough to be considered in posession.

As the Lord is my witness, this is the truth. A genuine honest mistake. I know that my travel options are severely limited even having been arrested (no USA or Canada entry), but I was hoping that I could even pick up domestic work with Loganair or Flybe.

I'm not sure I could cope with the criminal record plus losing my dream of flying to boot.
nothopeful is offline  
Old 14th Jul 2021, 08:04
  #8 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Dubai
Age: 41
Posts: 363
Have you been found guilty in a Crown Court? Or was it a Magistrates court?

You can’t let your life be destroyed by a Magistrate.
kungfu panda is offline  
Old 14th Jul 2021, 08:39
  #9 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SE England
Posts: 660
This is not justice. What do the CPS think they’re playing at even bringing a case against you? The facts as you told them should be broadcast throughout the nation to point a finger at this ass of a legal system, but of course you risk your name being indelibly scribed across the internet in a way that could also affect any future employment. My unqualified (well, this is the internet) advice:
  • get a good lawyer (who probably costs the remaining equity in a second home)
  • speak to your MP
  • consider benefit of going viral over the injustice of this all (mob-rule can often override legal process) and find a tame journalist who might run your case without identifying you
  • flying is a stupid career aspiration you’d make far more money in a proper job, but if you have the bug that will not matter and you’ll make it work for you somehow no matter what the outcome so DO NOT GIVE UP!
  • when you get that aviation job be honest about any record - it would be a major black-mark if you are not fully candid about any criminal record and that could bar you from airside access and even lead to the loss of a hard-won job
  • the pressure on you at the moment must be immense at a time when you should be full of the optimism of youth but everything will pass and in the blink of an eye whatever happens here will be nothing more than an irritating memory. DO NOT GIVE UP!
  • keep an eye on your mental health, keep talking, seek help if it’s all getting a bit much but DO NOT GIVE UP!
Dan Dare is offline  
Old 14th Jul 2021, 09:32
  #10 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 1,198
This has to be a wind up. Starting L3 In sept? Putting your family’s home on the line? Flybe?
Contact Approach is offline  
Old 14th Jul 2021, 09:57
  #11 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 183
What did you do with the photo you were sent? Did you save it on any of your electronic devices? Did you delete the message containing the photo?

Sounds like you have been charged with an offence of possession. The answers to the questions I have asked will be important in determining whether you are guilty or not.

Go see a lawyer. Everyone hates lawyers, until they need one. Any you need one.
Bull at a Gate is offline  
Old 14th Jul 2021, 13:51
  #12 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: UK
Age: 51
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Sorry. I just don’t get this. There was no crime for you to be arrested for in what you wrote. The age of consent in the UK is 16. As long as you weren’t in a position of trust over that person you are free to get up to whatever you both want to.

Edited to add: I had absolutely no idea there were 2 ages of consent. That is bonkers. So it’s legal to date (and everything that can entail) someone 16 and over, but have a saucy picture (of someone who may be your partner) and it’s illegal. That is incredible!

Last edited by highflyer40; 14th Jul 2021 at 14:21.
highflyer40 is offline  
Old 14th Jul 2021, 14:03
  #13 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Dubai
Age: 41
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Even if there is more to this than expressed by the poster, which I'm sure there is. I still take the view that as a 22 year old with a 17 year old, it's most likely to be a clumsy and immature man, rather than an evil man. I therefore think that education should be the tool of the CPS and not a criminal charge that would permanently label the 22 year old as a paedophile.

I recognise that there are evil men out there who are out to do harm to females and Children. I would never offer those people a way out. But there are normal, reasonable guys who are just Clumsy and don't know how to behave.
kungfu panda is offline  
Old 14th Jul 2021, 16:31
  #14 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: France
Age: 66
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These might be daft questions but was the photo recent or is there any suspicion that it was from when she was younger and was is definitely a picture of her and not someone else?

Also - " only to be informed that the police have retrieved the image and are prosecuting me ..."
Just clarify, Are you just subject of investigation/Have you been charged/are the CPS considering the case?
Repos is offline  
Old 14th Jul 2021, 17:06
  #15 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2021
Location: UK
Posts: 11
The whole thing sounds like a scam. Did you ever speak to this girl other than by messaging? Do you have any proof she actually exists? How do you know the photo was of her, and not some random photo taken from the internet?
Ohrly is offline  
Old 14th Jul 2021, 21:14
  #16 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Iondon
Posts: 30
That's an unusual statement right there from a 22 year old. "Before texting", "Blackberrys". You are also referring to a law change that happened in 2003? So when you were what, four years old? You were taught THAT aged four?
Kent Based is offline  
Old 14th Jul 2021, 21:56
  #17 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: UK
Age: 51
Posts: 0
Good point and good spot. I hadn’t noticed that. But that post resonated with me exactly at my age… 50, not 22. How many 22 year olds would even know a blackberry. How many 22 year olds would even know life “before texting”. I was first remember texting around the turn of the millennium.

Just re read his post and there is no way he is 22. More like 50-60. Which even if not illegal is morally wrong chatting up a 16 year old irregardless of the picture that he “claims” she sent him unsolicited. The more that comes out of this the more I think the police may have got it right.
highflyer40 is offline  
Old 14th Jul 2021, 22:37
  #18 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2021
Location: Narnia
Posts: 9
This sounds awfully familiar to a recent event here in New Zealand..with a quick internet search youíll find what Iím talking about.
Grateful.. is offline  
Old 14th Jul 2021, 23:03
  #19 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2021
Location: UK
Posts: 15

With all due respect, I don't appreciate the accusation that I'm somehow lying about this situation, it's an awful thing to lie about.
You might have been texting then, but I was in primary school. I got my first phone at 14, as my parents were technophobes. We didn't even have a computer in the house, and I only got a laptop when I started my A Levels in 2014.

Of course we had Blackberries... the days of BBM were, if I remember correctly, around 2010- 2013... which was when I was in school. We could barely send photos on those. "Sexting" was not yet widely spread, and the worst thing that happened was that a girl in my year sent a video around of herself and it became the talk of the school.

I can understand why you would be skeptical, but please take a moment to think through this and consider that not everyone on the Internet is a stinking liar.

For reference, my Dad is 61. Not me.

Kent Based

As i previously replied, I got my first mobile aged 14. I had a blackberry in secondary school. I'm finding these accusations alarming, especially since I am reaching out for help. If there wasn't so much at stake I would just link a picture of my driving licence because I'm astounded that people think that someone who is almost 23 is too young to have a blackberry or to have grown up in an age where sending people sexy images wasn't the norm as it is now...

Contact Approach

Why would it be a wind up? Flybe is actively building back up to what it once was, it seems. L3 and CAE are still the top names in the industry, and taking out a home loan is the route that most of my new coursemates have taken. How else can young people get the required training?

As for this being a wind up, i wish it was. All I've done is reach out for advice and I've been hit with accusations of being an old man. I can't win on these forums as I obviously don't want to reveal my identity in case coursemates/school friends/future employers are reading.


I've read that article a thousand times over. The difference with that guy is that he targeted 14 years olds, who are clearly under the age of consent. My grave error was not realising that there are two ages of consent, and assumed the "regular" age for dating and whatnot was the be all and end all.

Our justice system doesn't work like that. A friend who is a police officer described me as collateral damage in a system designed to target those who have images of abuse.
nothopeful is offline  
Old 14th Jul 2021, 23:45
  #20 (permalink)  
Educated Hillbilly
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: From the Hills
Posts: 943
Well if you think L3 and CAE are still the leading names you are deluded. Suggest you look at what has happened at CAE Oxford in the last 12 months. Hardly the world leading flight school any more.

As for Flybe its 2 or 3 aircraft , long way from 70.
portsharbourflyer is offline  

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