The mother of a schoolboy who sent a naked photo of himself to a girl has won the right to a judicial review over a police force’s refusal to delete his name from its records.
The boy, aged 14 at the time, was not arrested or prosecuted by Greater Manchester Police.
His mother said she was concerned police could release the information to potential employers when he is older.
The boy sent the naked photograph over social media to a girl at his school.
The girl then shared the image, sent two years ago, with others.
‘Young, naive and silly’
The boy’s mother said she was “in complete shock” when she heard what had happened, but “this had all happened in the privacy of his own bedroom”.
She said even though “he was young, he was naive, he was silly” she believes the sharing of the photo was “malicious”.
Police took no action against him other than to record on their database that he had taken and forwarded an “indecent” image of himself, logged under a section entitled “Obscene Publications”.
Greater Manchester Police has refused to delete the boy’s name from its files, a decision his mother is contesting at the High Court.
She said: “It’s going to be held there infinitum, so for all his adult life it hangs over him.”
Campaign group Just for Kids Law, which is supporting his family, says it is aware of other so-called “sexting” cases where police have been criticised for being too heavy-handed.
The Home Office is an interested party in the proceedings. Its position is understood to be that although police have to record such incidents, it is at their discretion whether they include the name of the person.