Teenager wins right to make police delete sexting details

A teenager has won the right to try to force the police to delete details about him sexting a schoolgirl on Snapchat. Picture: Getty
A teenager has won the right to try to force the police to delete details about him sexting a schoolgirl on Snapchat. Picture: Getty
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A teenager has won the right to try to force the police to delete details about him sexting a schoolgirl on social media.

• READ MORE: Childline drive to warn teenagers and parents of sexting dangers

The boy was 14 when he used Snapchat to send a photo of his penis to the girl.

Identified at a High Court hearing on Friday only as ‘Cl’, the boy, now aged 16, was spoken to by a local police officer and a head teacher - who told his mother and warned him it was a criminal offence.

He was not prosecuted but Greater Manchester Police (GMP) have kept a record of the incident in 2015.

Now the youngster’s mother has argued that his human rights could be breached and wants the police to delete the information, recorded as him having sent an indecent image.

She is concerned it may affect his future education and employment prospects if he has to disclose any police record or involvement with the authorities.

The boy’s mother told the BBC: “It’s going to be held there infinitum, so for all his adult life it hangs over him.

“I’m his parent and it’s my job to know when something needs to be dealt with and that’s why I’m still pursuing proceedings to ultimately get his name removed.

“We are criminalising our children for something that if they did at the age of 18 is not a crime.”

At Friday’s hearing at the High Court in Manchester, Amanda Weston, acting for the boy and his family, told the court that the police recording the information and refusing to delete it breached his rights to a private life under the Human Rights Act.

She said: “The potential impact on Cl is immense and likely to have a number of consequences for him.”

Charlotte Bentham, acting for the Chief Constable of GMP, said the full retention of records was lawful and for a legitimate policing purpose.

However Mr Justice Kerr said the boy’s case was “arguable” and granted him and his family permission for a judicial review.

He said the full hearing, at a date yet to be fixed, will hear all the arguments before a judge will decide if the police must delete the record they are keeping of the incident.