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A man working for a food company in Exhall, Warwickshire has had his sentence quashed for showing and possessing indecent images of children and extreme porn. The Hinckley Times reported that Ibrahim Okolo, who resides in Coventry, shocked his colleagues when he showed them the images calling it “banter”. Last September, Warwick Crown Court sentenced him to two years and two months in jail as he admitted to possessing and showing the images, one which he had sent to his manager.

Sentence overturned

Mr Okolo who has since appealed his case has had the rest of his sentence overturned. The Hinckley Times states that the London Appeal Court saw him as being “grossly naive” and said that the actions he took conveyed the “distorted beliefs” that he had. Okolo originates from Sierra Leone where his behaviour may not have been a cause for concern. However, here in the UK according to the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (England and Wales) it is important that organisations and their employees understand the law regarding indecent images of children as it is an offence to possess, distribute, show and make indecent images of children.

The court decided that instead of serving the rest of his jail term Okolo needed educating to prevent him being a future risk, so they have now replaced the sentence with a three year community order with a requirement that he also attends a sex offenders programme to help rehabilitate him.

Important workplace laws

Laws regarding indecent images of children in the workplace include:

  • It is an offence to possess, distribute, show and make indecent images of children
  • Making of indecent images of children includes viewing them on the internet otherwise known as ‘downloading’
  • The Sexual Offences Act 2003 (England and Wales) defines a child, for the purposes of indecent images, as anyone under the age of 18
  • The Sexual Offences Act 2003 (England and Wales) provides a defence for handling potentially criminal images

It is not just only indecent images that are a criminal offence at work, there are other actions that can get you in trouble with the law in the workplace. These could include:

  • Violence in the workplace
  • Harassment – this can start from bullying but if it gets more serious it turns into harassment which is a criminal offence.
  • Theft
  • Money Laundering/ Fraud

If an offence is committed at work, the matter may be reasonably straightforward in that the employer’s disciplinary procedure can be applied in the normal way. Even in a case of proven criminal activity, it will be necessary to investigate the circumstances fully, inform the employee of the allegation, and conduct a full and fair interview giving the employee a proper opportunity to present his or her side of events.

Advice about misconduct or offences committed at work

Our employment law solicitors have experience in dealing with all areas of employer and employee employment law.  For advice about handling difficult situations at work, or for policies and procedures relating to misconduct or dismissal, contact our team of experts today using one of the telephone numbers below.