A 19-year-old Mt Barker man sent an intimate image of his ex-partner to a Snapchat group called “The Boys” in what police have described as a “gross breach of trust”. Mitchell Evan Pearce appeared in Albany Magistrates Court last Thursday, pleading guilty to distributing an intimate image of another person without consent. Police prosecutor Sgt Alan Dean told the court the offence happened on July 6, six months after the couple had broken up. Pearce distributed a photo of the 17-year-old victim’s breasts which she had taken for his eyes only. “The accused sent it to ‘The Boys’ Snapchat group,” Sgt Dean said. A friend of the now 18-year-old victim later identified the image and alerted her after recognising the location of the photo. “He had no permission to distribute the image on social media,” Sgt Dean said. Legal Aid duty lawyer Graeme Payne asked the court to consider granting Pearce a spent conviction, citing four references that spoke to his good character. However, Sgt Dean said he was not surprised Pearce had had nice things written about him. “In 26 years of police work I’ve never seen a bad reference,” Sgt Dean told the court. “The problem with this offence is that it is a gross breach of trust. “She’s chosen to send that to him and trusted him to keep it private ... no permission to send to anyone, and not ‘The Boys’.” Sgt Dean said he understood there were at least 15 males aged 15-26 in the Snapchat group who would have received the image. “Who knows where it has gone now?” Sgt Dean said. “He’s remorseful now, but is that only because it’s now in court and he’s been charged?” Sgt Dean said a fine would be appropriate. However, he said an order should be made for Pearce “to take actions to delete any intimate images of the victim”. Mr Payne said Pearce maintained the view the victim was 16 years old when she took the photo. Magistrate Dianne Scaddan said it was a simple offence but it had “sadly, long-lasting impacts”. “It’s an act of sheer ignorance, selfishness, stupidity and thoughtlessness,” she said. “You had no respect for her body or integrity, and you abused her trust ... she’s lost all control over that image. “It’s well-known that anyone can screenshot and retain that shot. “There is no control who can access it and the types of people that can view it.” The magistrate said she saw Pearce’s actions as an act of “immaturity” rather than revenge because of a relationship breakdown. Ms Scaddan fined Pearce $2000 and granted him a spent conviction because of his limited record and positive references. She ordered him to make “reasonable endeavours” to ensure the image was “deleted, retracted or recovered” within six months.