Advancements in technology, while exponentially improving our lives, have provided plenty of cringe-worthy moments when inadvertent actions result in hilarious consequences. You know what I’m talking about: the dreaded “Reply All” that sends a particularly snarky message to your office wife and your boss; the never-ending stream of “Oops, I meant to send that off-list” apologia, the moment of panic when you realize you’ve typed the message in the wrong instant messenger window or that salacious text that goes not only to the girl you met at the bar last night, but also to your mother and the thirteen year olds whom you teach how to swim which lands you in jail for 18 months.
What? That last scenario isn’t familiar to you? It would be, if you were Craig Evans of The Little Island That Could, who, in a moment of understandable distraction, sent a steamy text message to his paramour and everyone else in his contact list.. Yes, that includes his mother, his grandmother, that one kid he went to high school with and presumably the guy who came to clean his pipes last week. Oh, and also those two young girls whom he was coaching.
Naturally, this being 2012 and all, he was arrested for some sex crime and then he was promptly convicted because no one can be that stupid, so it must’ve been intentional or perhaps everyone was sleeping or whatever it is they do in the lazy English countryside on a warm, rainy summer’s day. I’d say they were all busy watching the Olympics, but that’d just be a damn cruel joke, so I won’t.
So after a Birmingham court gave him 18 months in jail for inciting a child into sexual activity (!!!), his lawyers:
wondering if the Birmingham judges might have been a little narrow-minded, rushed to an appeals court in far more worldly London. Their argument seems to have been quite a fine one. It consisted of pointing out that the very same sexting went to members of Evans’ family.
How this evidence failed to convince the Birmingham judges the first time around escapes me, nor does any of the coverage mention it, but what’s even worse is that the happy ending to this story isn’t all that happy. The appeals court, while agreeing that Evans was guilty of nothing more than having sticky fingers, saw it fit to reduce his sentence to 9 months in prison, but was gracious enough to suspend all of it so he could be released from jail.
Yes, you read that right. He wasn’t acquitted; his conviction wasn’t reversed; he wasn’t given an apology and an iPhone with clear instructions on how to use it. He still remains convicted and while I don’t know enough about British law, I can only presume that the fact that his conviction remains will have lifelong consequences for him. At best he’ll be the dumbass who sent a sex text to his entire contact list and at worst he’ll be that dumbass who sent a sex text to his contact list including two teenage girls and was convicted for it.
There’s not a lot about this story that makes sense – I mean, are all the bobbies across the pond such boobs? – but hey, at least I got to thrust innuendo in your face.