A man who obtained and shared indecent images of children has had his sentence increased following intervention by the then Solicitor General, The Rt Hon Michael Ellis QC MP.
In December 2019, Jaswent Rai, now 47, uploaded indecent images of children onto Instagram. This led to police searching his home in March 2020 and seizing his electronic devices which showed that Rai was in possession of indecent images of children and had uploaded images to online social media networks.
The children depicted in the images were aged between 6 and 16 years old, and the offender was also in possession of bestiality pornography.
Rai pleaded guilty to three counts of distributing indecent images of children, one count of possessing extreme pornographic images and three counts of making indecent images of children. On 18 August Rai was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment suspended for 2 years at Manchester Crown Court, with requirements to undertake the Maps for Change programme, 10 days Rehabilitation Activity Requirement, and 150 hours unpaid work.
Following a referral to the Court of Appeal under the Unduly Lenient Sentence (ULS) scheme by the Solicitor General, on 12 October the Court found the sentence to be unduly lenient and increased it to 2 years’ imprisonment.
After the hearing at the Court of Appeal, the Solicitor General, Alex Chalk QC MP, said:
“The images held and shared online by Rai are truly shocking and abhorrent. I am pleased with the result of today’s hearing, and that the Court of Appeal agrees a custodial sentence meets the gravity of the crime.”