Here’s a bit of grimly good news: the first bloke to be charged under Western Australia‘s new revenge porn laws could face a stint in jail for posting his ex’s pictures on Instagram.

24-year-old Mitchell Brindley allegedly created a number of fake Instagram accounts in his ex-girlfriend’s name over four days in April, just days after WA’s revenge porn legislation passed.

Police allege Brindley uploaded seven pics of his ex to the first fake account, and after that was removed by Instagram, posted another three images to a further four accounts.

He appeared for the first time in court on Monday in Fremantle, and via his lawyer indicated that he’d be pleading guilty to distributing intimate images of another without their consent. The charge carries a penalty of up to three years in jail, and up to $18,000 in fines.

His lawyer still tried to argue whether all 10 of the images actually counted as “intimate”.

The new laws were introduced in mid-April as an attempt to stop the upsetting rise of revenge porn, which is usually posted by jilted ex-partners as a means of coercing them into doing something, or causing emotional harm.

WA Attorney General John Quigley said that revenge porn is a form of abuse that is serious and harmful.

That’s why we’ve introduced tough penalties for those who feel they can violate another individual’s privacy and dignity in this way.

Image-based abuse also extends beyond the scenario of ex-partners sharing an intimate image without consent to seek revenge.

It has emerged as an increasingly common feature in family and domestic violence cases, used as a means of coercing and controlling the victim, and it is also used to facilitate so-called ‘sextortion’.

Criminalising this degrading and dehumanising practice is long overdue and it will no longer be tolerated.

Brindley refused to speak to the media, and will appear in court again in June. His bail conditions prevent him from contacting his ex-girlfriend or threatening to post any more images of her.

Source: WA Today
Image: Getty Images / Shih Wei Wang / EyeEm