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The Text Message Typo That Landed a Man In Jail

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the auto-correct-going-on-the-offensive dept.

Blackberry 547

Barence writes "A British man was jailed for 18 months for accidentally sending an explicit text message to his entire address book. 24-year-old swimming coach Craig Evans intended to send a text message to his girlfriend asking her for sex. Instead, the message was accidentally sent to his entire BlackBerry address book, including two girls, aged 13 and 14, from his swimming class. He was subsequently arrested and charged with 'causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity,' and – incredibly – jailed for 18 months at Birmingham Crown Court in July. Yesterday, an appeal's court freed Evans, although he wasn't cleared — the sentence was merely reduced to a nine-month suspended jail term."

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Siri: email porn folder to mom (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41486829)

Think of the (potential) consequences.

Re:Siri: email porn folder to mom (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41486941)

the consequences will never be the same.

he done goofed. got backtraced.

I can only assume (4, Funny)

second_coming (2014346) | more than 2 years ago | (#41486837)

that it must have been a jury made up of 12 Daily Mail readers.

Re:I can only assume (1)

skovnymfe (1671822) | more than 2 years ago | (#41486859)

Them Englishmen really don't like their pedophiles.

Re:I can only assume (2)

aliquis (678370) | more than 2 years ago | (#41486891)

Rather cool excuse if it had worked though.

Re:I can only assume (-1, Flamebait)

heathen_01 (1191043) | more than 2 years ago | (#41486937)

He was just following the example of the Prophet.

Re:I can only assume (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41487195)

Piece (of ass) be upon him.

Re:I can only assume (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41487007)

You Americans like your freedom of speech and love to say whatever you feel like to little girls.

Re:I can only assume (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41487049)

Keep in mind that the best and brightest of England left to make their fortunes in the colonies long ago. The ones that stayed behind were, well, the "special" types.

Re:I can only assume (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41487269)

No, we sent you our scum and religious nutters. The only freedom they wanted was to persecute people of other faiths.

Re:I can only assume (1, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#41487087)

Or alternatively, the guy's claim that it was a mistaken send to everyone was just his cover story and the jury thought there was enough evidence to that effect.

At the end of the day, this was a case overseen by a jury, and it's non-trivial to send a message to everyone on a Blackberry.

Re:I can only assume (2, Insightful)

bjourne (1034822) | more than 2 years ago | (#41487203)

All operators log text messages so it would be trivial to see if his story checks out or not.

FTA... (-1, Flamebait)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 2 years ago | (#41486843)

"Perhaps someone needs to let Stephen Fry, Al Murray and Chambersâ(TM) other celebrity backers know about this latest instance of the British justice system failing to grasp modern technology?"

Celebrity backers? How about to make it in TODAY'S world, with TODAY'S politics, we require testing for our representatives to make sure they understand the concepts going on outside of their safety bubble? Too much to ask for? Well - "why don't airplanes windows roll down?" - Romney

Re:FTA... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41486889)

HE WAS JOKING.

Fucking morons.

Re:FTA... (5, Funny)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 2 years ago | (#41486951)

i agree... fucking mormons...

Re:FTA... (0, Troll)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#41486953)

Was he also joking when he said he did not worry about the poor or when he said 47% of Americans feel entitled to things like food?

I don't even think he is programmed for humor, so what are the odds he was joking?

He says this bullshit, while paying a lower tax rate then me by doing shifty shit like claiming his wife's dancing horse is a business not a hobby.

Re:FTA... (-1, Offtopic)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 2 years ago | (#41487009)

I saw that video and Romney's entire mannerism, diction, the way he smiled, the way he moved, was similar to a stand-up comedian doing a routine. He was clearly running a stream of jokes and trying to amuse himself and others; that doesn't mean the question wasn't posed as an insightful absurdity (i.e. something absurd and humorous, but warranting serious thought), but it WAS a joke. Can't tell from all that if he knew why the windows don't open. Suspending the laws of physics can be funny, though, re cartoons.

Stupid liberal bitch newscaster showed the video, stared at the camera with the most condescending look possible, and then said, "His wife just nearly died, and some people think he's joking? I don't see how he could have been joking." I'm like, "Seriously? I just watched him dance and smile and chuckle and drop strategic pauses to let the audience catch a laugh between punches, and you don't think he's joking?" It's obvious Romney was trying to be funny.

Re:FTA... (1)

Stele (9443) | more than 2 years ago | (#41487077)

It's obvious Romney was trying to be funny.

It's clear he should just stick with what he is good at: making money by any means necessary

Re:FTA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41487251)

Is there any real reason airplane windows don't open?
It's not like they spend their entire service life at 30k feet.
Next your going to tell me they should have doors, because if you open them all the air gets sucked out.

Re:FTA... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41487171)

Look, I'm not a huge fan of Romney. I don't know why we nominated a hedge fund manager in the year when the Democrats want to make class warfare a major issue. I sure as hell did not vote for him in the primary.

But we face major problems in this country. Social Security Disability runs out of money in 2017. Medicare runs out of money in 2024. Social Security itself runs out of money in 2033 (which is still before my retirement age).

The Republicans have proposed a partial solution for Medicare. It doesn't completely solve the problem, but it's a major step in the right direction. Obama has lambasted this plan as "extreme" and "unAmerican." Yet he has not proposed his own plan to fix Medicare. Does he believe that a fiscally healthy Medicare program is unAmerican? Under current law (including Obama Care), Medicare still goes broke in 2024. We can't afford to wait another four years to tackle this problem. Every year we wait, the problem gets harder to solve.

I'm voting for the candidate that will acknowledge the existence of these very real fiscal problems. And that candidate is Romney.

Re:FTA... (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#41487109)

What representatives? This was a trial by jury, the jury decided he was guilty.

Soapbox... (0)

Type44Q (1233630) | more than 2 years ago | (#41486847)

Soapbox, ballot box, jury box, ammo box... containing paintballs. ;)

Wait, what? (0, Troll)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#41486855)

Why did he have the phone numbers of 13 and 14 year old students on his mobile phone?

Re:Wait, what? (5, Informative)

The Dancing Panda (1321121) | more than 2 years ago | (#41486899)

He's the swim coach. That's fairly common, for quick updates about practices and meets.

Re:Wait, what? (-1, Flamebait)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#41486995)

He's the swim coach. That's fairly common, for quick updates about practices and meets.

No, they go to the parents who transport their children to the meetings. So I'll ask again; Why did he have the phone numbers of 13 and 14 year olds on his phone?

Re:Wait, what? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41487083)

13 - 14 years transport themselves, at least where I live. They use either buses or bicycle.

Re:Wait, what? (5, Insightful)

silentcoder (1241496) | more than 2 years ago | (#41487099)

>No, they go to the parents who transport their children to the meetings. So I'll ask again; Why did he have the phone numbers of 13 and 14 year olds on his phone?

Because they were 13 and 14 year old's NOT 6 and 7 year olds. That means they were high-school aged. Now I know in America you treat highschool teenagers that age as if they were babies but in the rest of the world they are allowed and indeed EXPECTED to take a modicum of responsibility for their own actions.

Including almost CERTAINLY having to get to practise THEMSELVES using available public transport, bycicles and the like.

My parents would have found the idea of "taking a high school kid to a sports practise" stupid beyond measure. They bought me a bike instead.

Even aside from that - there IS such a thing as non-sexual friendships between adults and teenagers. Teens seeking advice, role models and the like - and adults who are willing to play that role, often ones in positions like coaches, guidance councillors and such who are able and willing to give good advice to difficult questions that those kids may not be as comfortable discussing with their parents.
That's not just innocent, it's a NORMAL part of growing up and depriving kids of that thinking you're protecting them is a very good way to make them less likely to grow up into responsible adults.

Re:Wait, what? (4, Interesting)

artfulshrapnel (1893096) | more than 2 years ago | (#41487153)

This. Even as an American I had contact with my several of my teachers outside of school. They were role models and sources of advice when I was in school, and friends now that I am an adult. Heck, last time I was in town I had a beer with my old art teacher and we bitched about clients together.

Re:Wait, what? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41487101)

"No, they go to the parents who transport their children to the meetings."

Kids use public transports outside the US, we're not backwards morons.

Re:Wait, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41487193)

Do you know what's absolutely terrifying to me? That, as a society, we've become so incredibly paranoid regarding pedophiles that this view is actually held by a majority of people, at least in America. If you have the phone number or email, if you say "Hi", or even make eye contact with someone under 18, there are always idiots that will immediately shout out "OMG PEDOPHILE!".

It's as if we didn't learn anything from the Salem Witch Trials...

Re:Wait, what? (1)

rsxaeon (2506670) | more than 2 years ago | (#41487003)

But why only those two?

Re:Wait, what? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#41486901)

Because he is (well was by now) their swimming coach as it states in the summary.

Re:Wait, what? (3, Interesting)

aliquis (678370) | more than 2 years ago | (#41486913)

Yeah clearly if you know how to contact someone underage you're a pedophile.

Now let the government go through all your contact lists.

Re:Wait, what? (2)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#41486919)

Because he was a swimming coach. He probably had their cell and their parents too. To notify them things like when and where they should have their swim meet.

Unlike say 20 years ago. It is common for a family to have more then 1 phone. And the kid is more resposnible for their information.

Re:Wait, what? (-1, Troll)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#41487019)

Phone number of parents is great, as they are responsible for their child (as they are still children by law). They will take the children to meets, pick them up etc. There is no need to have the child's phone number at all.

I am not saying, or even insinuating, that he did anything inappropriate, but working in education myself I can tell you that you don't hold the child's contact details. You have the contact details of the parent or carer. At best, it's a serious breach of protocol.

Re:Wait, what? (3, Insightful)

jkflying (2190798) | more than 2 years ago | (#41487143)

These aren't kids. They are teenagers. You know, the age group where they are expected to be mature enough to look after their own life a little bit.

Re:Wait, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41487241)

You forgot to add "in USA". In most (I say most, because I don't know if it is like that all across) of Europe there is not protocol like that. My teachers had my phone number when I was in high school and I had theirs.

Re:Wait, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41487259)

"Phone number of parents is great, as they are responsible for their child (as they are still children by law). They will take the children to meets, pick them up etc. There is no need to have the child's phone number at all."

1.) This is about 13 years old, not about five years old. 13 years old are fully able to transport themselves everywhere public transport or bicycle can go. Most of them actually do. It is more effective to call them directly.

2.) Sport clubs often go on competitions or week long training events. When they are there, they usually get to have some free time to go shopping. 13 years old are big enough to go in pairs without adult with them - it is wise to have their phone numbers in case you need to reach them or they are late.

3.) Couch can store kids number when the kid is calling him to ask a question just to know who calls the next time. It is perfectly OK and legal. He can also get kids number also when the kid is doing something for the club - like the flyer or whatever.

For real, where in the world are 13 - 14 years old so dependent on parents, that those parents take them everywhere and perform every communication instead of them?

Re:Wait, what? (5, Insightful)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 2 years ago | (#41487277)

See a poster above - outside the USA it's very normal for children of all ages to transport themselves to places. I was catching a bus home from school by the time I was 9.

If this guy was their swimming coach, then he had a perfectly justifiable reason for having their numbers in his phone, even if it was just so he knew which one of his team was texting him to say that she couldn't come to a training session.

Yes, he screwed up. But it doesn't justify the offence he was convicted of, which will place him on the offenders register for a minimum of 10 years, and has therefore completely destroyed his chosen career.

The ruination of a man's life is a hard price to pay for a social faux-pas.

Re:Wait, what? (2, Informative)

artfulshrapnel (1893096) | more than 2 years ago | (#41486929)

Kids of a friend? Friends of a kid? Nephew/Niece? He needed to give them a ride somewhere once, he's an emergency contact for them, or maybe they friended him on Facebook because he's a buddy of their dad's and around the house a lot, and included their numbers in their profile?

There's a decent number of reasons that a 30-something normal adult would have the numbers of a few children in their address book. If there were like... 20 children that would start to get weird, but two seems pretty normal especially if there's some logical connection.

Re:Wait, what? (0)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#41487063)

Automatic address book update from the Facebook app I can understand, but again there are (workplace) regulations for social networking. At least where I work (education) you don't have students on your social networking "friends".

Further, if it were all (to use your numbers) 20 kids in his swim class, i'd be less bothered, but it was only two of them. Why those two, and why not their parents / carers?

Re:Wait, what? (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 2 years ago | (#41487123)

Automatic address book update from the Facebook app I can understand, but again there are (workplace) regulations for social networking.

Workplace regulations are only relevant if you're in a workplace. From what I can gather he's a swimming coach. Doesn't say he works for anyone.

Re:Wait, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41487163)

Because those were two that put in their own contact information in their paperwork. It's a given that some contact will happen, so it'll be filled out on the forms as they decide.

Sometimes the simplest explanation is the best. Far better than coming up with groundless speculation.

I just tried to do this on my Blackberrry (5, Funny)

Arab (466938) | more than 2 years ago | (#41486861)

I can't even figure out how to send a message to all my Blackberry contacts...

How does one make a mistake like that?

Re:I just tried to do this on my Blackberrry (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41486905)

When you accidently want sex from everyone on your contact list... that is how it happens.

Re:I just tried to do this on my Blackberrry (2)

Arab (466938) | more than 2 years ago | (#41486955)

It depends on how desperate you are. Everyone or anyone?

Re:I just tried to do this on my Blackberrry (5, Insightful)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | more than 2 years ago | (#41486987)

To quote the bard

A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely fool-proof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

— Douglas Adams

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Re:I just tried to do this on my Blackberrry (1)

Pheidias (141114) | more than 2 years ago | (#41487191)

I accidentally sex from a bunch of people at once...is this dangerous?

[Sorry.]

Re:I just tried to do this on my Blackberrry (0, Troll)

slashmydots (2189826) | more than 2 years ago | (#41486949)

Well, it's a 2 part process. I don't know part 2 but I do know part 1 is using a blackberry instead of a real phone.

Re:I just tried to do this on my Blackberrry (5, Funny)

Inda (580031) | more than 2 years ago | (#41486997)

I don't know about Blackberry but it's too easy on Android.

Message recipients > Group > My Contacts > Select all.

It would be too easy to select the "My Contacts" group or "My Swimming contacts" group, instead of the "My shagging partners" group.

BlackBerry groupware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41486865)

Great advertisement! Just what BB desperately needs now. Oh, wait..

Project seX? (5, Informative)

Razgorov Prikazka (1699498) | more than 2 years ago | (#41486867)

Sounds a little like the ProjetX we had here in Holland. A girl accidentally asked the whole FB community to join her on her birthday-party. She forgot to mention that it was for her friends and family only.
Thousands gathered in a small village (pop. 20.000), rioted, plundered stores, burned cars, damage ~ 1 million total.
A quick search on "projectX Haren" should suffice for more info.

On the guy... that is well inconvenient mate!

Re:Project seX? (1)

John Bokma (834313) | more than 2 years ago | (#41487085)

One keeps wondering if Haren just shouldn't have thrown a party in a nearby meadow for, say, 200K euro and saved 800K euro in damages....

Hrm (5, Informative)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 2 years ago | (#41486869)

Only source for this appears to be the Daily Mail, not a publication noted for its accurate reporting. How easy is it to accidentally send a text message to an entire contact list on Blackberries? I've never used a phone that made such a thing possible.

Re:Hrm (1)

djsmiley (752149) | more than 2 years ago | (#41486895)

I can't figure out how to do this and I'm a quite long time blackberry user.

There is some "broadcast" message settings but I don't want to mess with those "just in case".

Re:Hrm (1)

Vintermann (400722) | more than 2 years ago | (#41487121)

Blackberry may be little used, but it's still hundreds of thousands of people using it. Things that only happen once every hundred thousand years happens every year with some Blackberry user.

Of course, once in a hundred thousand years one might drunkely send a sex invitation to one's entire address book without thinking about the consequences (or the recipients) too. It's maybe slightly more likely. Nonetheless, it's very very likely that this guy didn't intent to send the message to those girls.

Re:Hrm (1)

BlkRb0t (1610449) | more than 2 years ago | (#41486897)

It is possible. There are millions of Blackberry users, and I am sure some have sent everyone on their contact list a message by mistake. He was just unlucky to have THIS message sent, and that too to underage children.

Re:Hrm (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41486945)

It's not that easy as far as I know.

The article doesn't mention any important details. E.g. did he send an apology once he discovered his mistake. Did he call the girl's parents to inform them of his mistake? Are there only 2 underaged girls on his team? If not, what does he need the number of these specific girls and not others? I imagine these things matter to establish his true intent. For all we know he was in fact trying to get the underaged girls to respond and did a "send all" only to create an excuse.

Re:Hrm (5, Interesting)

hairyfish (1653411) | more than 2 years ago | (#41486961)

My Bullshit detector went off as soon I read the summary. You can't send a text to all contacts with BB (just checked mine now). The only way to do this is to create a group, add all your contacts, then send a txt to the group. Hardly the sort of thing you would do accidently. Also the Daily Mail is one of those "President Kidnapped by Aliens!" publications. Why we keep getting Daily Mail stories on Slashdot is beyond me. Wake up Slashdot Editors.

Re:Hrm (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41487107)

He's a swim coach. He probably frequently sent out mails for events and schedule changes to a large group of people.
This group probably contained most of his contact list.

And if he did it frequently, a smart device like a Blackberry (which I don't own, so I can only speculate) might well prioritise higher on autocomplete that group.

At that point, all that would be required would be carelessness in the heat of the moment...

Re:Hrm (4, Informative)

Vintermann (400722) | more than 2 years ago | (#41487151)

It's much more likely that the Daily Mail made up some details (such as it being a Blackberry, or the guy being a swimming instructor, or the guy having a girlfriend etc.) than that they made up a case like this out of whole cloth and attached it to a picture of a real person.

From blackberry website (4, Informative)

nten (709128) | more than 2 years ago | (#41486967)

You can send a broadcast message to all contacts in a folder or to individual contacts. Recipients cannot reply to broadcast messages.

        On the Contact list screen, press the Menu key.
        Click Broadcast Message.
        Complete the Announcement field.
        If you have administrator permissions and want to send the broadcast message to all of the users on the server, select the System message check box. Click OK.
        Click Recipients.
        Click a folder.
        Perform one of the following actions:
                To send the broadcast message to all of the contacts in the folder, select the Select All check box.
                To send the broadcast message to individual contacts in the folder, select the check box beside the contacts.
        Click OK.
        Click OK.

That seems hard to do by accident, but at least slightly possible.

Re:Hrm (3, Interesting)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 2 years ago | (#41486973)

I don't know, but at the same time, if the message didn't go out to a large number of people in his address book, however it happened, I assume we'd not be reading it. So the story may have that detail ("the entire address book") wrong without being wrong, per-se, about the guy's innocence.

Not having a Blackberry, I can only assume you can easily set up groups of contacts. If girl friend's name is "Samantha", and group name is "Swim team", and they appear next to one another in the address book, then... maybe? Any BB owners here care to comment?

Re:Hrm (1)

ffejie (779512) | more than 2 years ago | (#41487053)

I am guessing he was using BBM, and set a broadcast message or a status message. Alternatively, he might have had a Swim Team group, which could have been next to his adult friend's name, and he could have hit the wrong group. The summary obscures this "all of his contacts" might have better read "all of his BBM contacts" but I don't expect the mainstream press to get into technical details like this.

Something is fishy (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41486871)

How do you even send a text message to your entire address book? This sounds more like the guy used some very poor judgement, but I doubt it was accidental.

Re:Something is fishy (4, Insightful)

CodeArtisan (795142) | more than 2 years ago | (#41486983)

How do you even send a text message to your entire address book? This sounds more like the guy used some very poor judgement, but I doubt it was accidental.

The guy sent the same message to his family members:

Agreeing and allowing the appeal, Lord Justice Elias said: "The facts of this case are rather unusual...messages reading 'Would you f**k me? Fast or slow? Skin on skin' were sent to every single contact in his phone, including members of his own family."

So it does seem like a genuine screw up.

Re:Something is fishy (1, Troll)

Geeky (90998) | more than 2 years ago | (#41487091)

The guy sent the same message to his family members:

Playing devil's advocate, but that would make for a good excuse - "ah, see, I sent it to my mum as well, must have been as mistake"

I would like to think there was enough doubt about his story to get the conviction in the first place. On the other hand I would like to think a lot of things, so, meh.

Why did he have them in his address book? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41486875)

Why did he have teenage girls' numbers in his address book?? Would he ever need to contact his pupils??

Taken out of context (i.e. him being their swimming instructor) this is a huge PEDO RED FLAG!! I just wouldn't take my chances in this crazy society in which we live.

This is exactly the reason I have no minors in my Facebook (regardless of relationship), my work e-mail is used exclusively for work-related messages, etc.

Re:Why did he have them in his address book? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41486985)

In case he needed to say that practice was cancelled? At that age, I was coming to and from school on my own, so it wouldn't surprise me if a few of these swimmers were also coming and going on their own. Of course, I didn't have access to a cell phone at that age either.

Re:Why did he have them in his address book? (5, Insightful)

artfulshrapnel (1893096) | more than 2 years ago | (#41487023)

Maybe it's because he was their swimming instructor, and gave them a ride somewhere or something? It's not like he had dozens of minors' contacts lying around and a string of lewd messages to them in his contact history (believe me, the police will have checked with the phone company by now).

Christ, panic mongers like yourself are the reason children are increasingly living in padded isolation boxes to protect them from big scary reality, and men are terrified to so much as speak to a child lest they be accused of molesting them. It's at the point now where, out of self-preservation, I would drive right by a child alone on the side of the road in the middle of winter. I would not stop to help. Why? Because if god forbid something happened to them later, or they decided to say something about me, the world would ruin my life for the greater good.

Ask yourself if that's really the best thing for children. For every pedophile you've cowed into hiding (they don't go away mind you, and when they think nobody is looking they're still going to do horrible things) you scare away hundreds or thousands of decent human beings who would help a child in need. Your child is far more likely to be hurt by tripping and falling, getting lost, or eating something dangerous; and if you're not around, you'd best hope there's a woman nearby to help because with this attitude the men will stay the fuck away.

Re:Why did he have them in his address book? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41487047)

You must be american. "Oh noes, he knows someone underage! Burn, pedo, burn!!!"

Re:Why did he have them in his address book? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41487067)

I have to agree. I would NEVER put my daughter's friends' numbers in my phone. I have their PARENTS' numbers in my phone, but not the kids'. I have no reason at all to call my daughter's friends. Ever.

There is no reason at all for a grown adult to have childrens' phone numbers who aren't their own kids, without at least an explicit consent given by the kid's parents and some valid reason.

Ridiculous (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41486879)

Just plain ridiculous

Reasonable doubt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41486881)

I guess they didn't consider reasonable doubt. If his girlfriend was in his address book, then it's obvious his girlfriend would see it if it were sent to the whole address book. What person would do that in his or her right mind? Obviously it was an accident. It would be like yelling over a megaphone to a crowd as to who wants to have sex with you, knowing full well that your wife is in said audience.

Re:Reasonable doubt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41486917)

Sorry. Poster #41486881 here. Do the recipients know the other senders, or does it appear to only be going to themselves?

Re:Reasonable doubt (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 2 years ago | (#41487055)

Where I come from on the Internet couples may be ok with things not all couples are. People are different.

(Not that I think she's a bi-sexual pedophile who was into it with her bf but it wouldn't be impossible.)

Also I don't really think the word pedophile should be used for people at age 14. Under age or whatever. (There's some word for it (pubertal/passed puberty but underage) but I can't remember what it is.)

Re:Reasonable doubt (1)

BlackPignouf (1017012) | more than 2 years ago | (#41487131)

"Jailbait" is the word you're looking for.

Re:Reasonable doubt (2)

Geeky (90998) | more than 2 years ago | (#41487231)

Try hebephile [wikipedia.org] for pubescent, ephebophile [wikipedia.org] for the slightly older.

Blackberry, hurumph! He got what he deserved, the (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41486883)

Perv!

Re:Blackberry, hurumph! He got what he deserved, t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41486975)

Should have gotten an iPhone, then he'd only have sent the message to the men on his contact list.

This is... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41486893)

incredible. IANAL but i think it would be trivial to prove it was a accidental message (all of his contacts received it roughly at the same time, including, probably his mother and father), but since it's about chiiiiildren, we must think of them right?

Blame blackberry? (1, Insightful)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 2 years ago | (#41486903)

What stupid user interface does a blackberry have to enable that in the first place? I cannot imagine any message that I would ever want to send to everyone I know.

Also, if he would have started the text with the name of his girlfriend, I'm sure he would have been in far less trouble.
Also, stupid Brits. It was a mistake.

Not really shocked at all. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41486939)

1. He's British. The British don't have freedom of speech, so this is really no surprise.
2. He's obviously guilty of exactly what he was charged with.
3. Sending a sensitive text message to all instead of to one person is extremely negligent. That alone is worthy of punishment.
4. 18 months for a pedophilia-related charge is actually surprisingly lenient. Usually these things are punished with a fate worse than death.

Daily Mail fail (-1, Troll)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#41486957)

First of all, anything the Daily Mail writes is a lie, even the date on the front page.

Second, he did send a sexual text to underaged children. That it was by accident makes it alright? As lots have already commented, it is hard to send a text to everyone by accident because this is not the normal function. If I kill you by accident, that is alright then?

Third, he had his sentence reduced, a suspended sentence entire goal is to say "don't do it again or we will get you". He now has to prove for 6 months that he is not going to do something incredibly stupid again.

Really, accidently sending a sexually tinted message to everyone by mistake, what an idiot. MESSAGE ENDS

So how about it, do you want to come over for a night of passionatie steaming hot sex?

Re:Daily Mail fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41487025)

That it was by accident makes it alright?.... If I kill you by accident, that is alright then?

It doesn't make it alright, but it is different - see first degree murder, second degree murder and manslaughter.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_%28Canadian_law%29#First_and_second_degree

Re:Daily Mail fail (3, Insightful)

sinij (911942) | more than 2 years ago | (#41487033)

>>> If I kill you by accident, that is alright then?

No, but I don't expect you will get charged with premeditated murder. Intention matters.

Re:Daily Mail fail (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41487097)

Killing somebody is never ok, but if it was an accident then there should be no reason i should be punished. For example, I press the button to call an elevator and this elevator somehow ends up killing you. I am not guilty of murder and in fact innocent.

Re:Daily Mail fail (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#41487111)

Second, he did send a sexual text to underaged children. That it was by accident makes it alright?

Mens rea is sort of a thing in common law jurisdictions... It isn't an absolute/binary matter; but it has long been the case that both act and intent are what make the crime. This is why, for instance, 'negligent homicide' is different than '1st degree murder'. If you were to kill me by accident it obviously wouldn't be 'alright', I'd still be pretty dead, and depending on the circumstances you might be on the civil and/or criminal hook for some sort of negligence, recklessness, or indifference; but, yeah, you certainly wouldn't be going down on Murder 1 charges...

Having, thankfully, not dealt with a Blackberry user interface in a while, I have no idea where on the continuum from 'freak accident, could have happened to anyone' to 'epic negligence' sending a given message to your entire address book is; but none of those places are the same as intentionally sending the message to the legally problematic recipients.

Re:Daily Mail fail (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41487147)

"Second, he did send a sexual text to underaged children. That it was by accident makes it alright?"

I hope the next time you say 'fuck you', a kid is standing right behind you.
Then at least we won't have to read your crap for some time.

Re:Daily Mail fail (5, Insightful)

silentcoder (1241496) | more than 2 years ago | (#41487213)

>If I kill you by accident, that is alright then?
Maybe. You won't be charged with murder. You MAY be charged with manslaughter. The legal test for manslaughter is: 'caused a death where a reasonable person would not'.

So if reasonable precautions on your part would have prevented the death - and you didn't take them - then you're guilty, otherwise you are indeed innocent.
To make up a random example. You're a forklift driver. Your forklift runs downhil while you stop for lunch, runs over a car and kills the driver. Are you guilty ? Well if you had left the handbrake off - then you are. If you had pulled it up but the brake FAILED while you were gone, then you're innocent.

See how it works ?

So we can apply a similar test to this accident if it helps you feel better.
We know (and an appeals court judge has declared) based on the available evidence that there was no intent here. But was the accident excusable ? Well it depends - was it an accident a reasonable person would have been able to avoid ?
For that one would have to look at the interface of the specific phone, the methods that led to this happening and the particular circumstances of the case. You cannot just universally make a declaration about it. There is even the possibility that this was caused by an obscure or sporadic bug in that version of the blackberry OS - that even RIM may not know about yet and NO action of his would have prevented it. Such bugs can and do happen - this site is full of programmer's we've all seen bugs like that. If that is the case (and we - and likely HE doesn't know that) then he would be completely innocent by the "reasonable person" measure.

I sincerely doubt the Jury ever really tried to question how reasonable his actions were since they never even asked the intent question despite the strong evidence showing there wasn't any.
Now the fact is that this question quite academic - the question of whether he had acted in a reasonable manner hasn't been answered and we don't have enough information to answer it. The appeals judge may have, and may have decided on those grounds that he did NOT take reasonable precautions to keep his sexual message away from the minors and this is why he remains guilty - but the judge DID agree the actions were without INTENT and this is why his sentence was so significantly mitigated.
But that is just a guess - I haven't read the actual court reports so don't take this as a claim of fact, just a likely explanation of the outcome.

strict liability? (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 2 years ago | (#41487031)

Perhaps the law in question is strict liability - if you did you're liable even without malicious intent.

Again, the cure is worse than the disease (4, Insightful)

Damouze (766305) | more than 2 years ago | (#41487039)

Obviously (at least if the Daily Mail is to be believed, and I do have some doubts about this), the guy does not belong in jail, nor does he belong on the sex offenders list. The worst that should have happened to him was that he had to apologize to everyone he sent this message to, nothing more, nothing less.

Negligent? Maybe, but to err is human. All too often these days a simple mistake (whether it be sending the message or buying a Blackberry in the first place) is twisted into something that it simply is not: a crime.

Will Black Berry 10 ship when he's out of jail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41487051)

Anyway, there new stuff for him to use until then, and it all flows together.

Why have this function at all? (1)

tpstigers (1075021) | more than 2 years ago | (#41487069)

I can't think of any circumstance in which I would want to send a single message to everyone in my address book.

Re:Why have this function at all? (1)

am 2k (217885) | more than 2 years ago | (#41487201)

What about "Help, I've been locked into my car's trunk by some guys with balaclavas!"?

Where are they? (3, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#41487073)

Lawyers are always going on about "intent". So, where are they in this case? Oh wait no "intent" is just another tool used to put you in jail, not to help you get out.

Re:Where are they? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41487187)

There must usually be a guilty mind (mens rea) but - and you'll need to check the offence for exactly what's required -

1. Not always. There are strict or near-strict liability offences, e.g. carrying a knife where the only mindful aspect is knowing that you're carrying it;

2. Even then, there are loads of other forms of guilty mind: recklessness, knowledge, belief, (criminal) negligence, etc. Recklessness is particularly interesting: as of 2003 this is by default subjective, i.e. you have to show that the defendant knew that there would be a risk of a particular outcome but that he went to take that risk anyway. I might try as follows:

i) Firstly, show that he knew that it was easy to accidentally send messages to everyone - perhaps easier if he'd set up an "everyone including the kids" contact group.

i) Secondly, show the guy was in the habit of sending explicit messages to his partner.

It's like chucking stones around and accidentally hitting a greenhouse. Sure, every young guy thinks he is hot shit and will never fuck anything up, but if he is aware of the risk which comes from fucking up and breaking the greenhouse yet still chucks stones around, he has a guilty mind.

A 9 month suspended sentence is OK. What is far worse for him is the effect of his criminal record on esp. employment prospects. The law on spent convictions is completely fucked (e.g. sex offender register, enhanced CRB disclosure) and essentially condemns all but the least of criminals for life - coincidentally making them desperate and likely to commit more crime.

Reminds me of a Dilbert strip (1)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 2 years ago | (#41487115)

I'm not sure I trust this story. No one seems to be reporting it except the Daily Mail.

Anyway, I am reminded of an old Dilbert strip from back in the 90's. Dogbert suggests to Dilbert that he leave the pointy-haired boss voicemail messages in the middle of the night, so that the boss will think he is diligently working on projects at all hours. Dilbert wakes up in the wee hours of the morning to leave the message, and groggily begins, "This is Dilbert. I'm sitting here in my underwear, thinking about you..." Suddenly he realizes what he has just said and frantically starts pressing buttons to delete the message. Instead, he accidentally sends it to everyone in the office.

Only seen something like this once (2)

cs668 (89484) | more than 2 years ago | (#41487145)

A woman at work was having an affair with a man in the office. She wanted to send him a sexy picture via email, she accidentally sent it to the 4th floor distribution list.

She was gone so fast that I didn't even see her after the email, and she came back to get her things after hours.

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