43 Malicious communicationsE+W
(1)In subsection (1) of section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 (c. 27) (offence of sending letters and other articles with intent to cause distress or anxiety)—
(a)in paragraph (a), for “letter or other article” there shall be substituted “ letter, electronic communication or article of any description ”; and
(b)in paragraph (b), for the word “other article” there shall be substituted “ article or electronic communication ”.
(2)In subsection (2) of that section (defence of making a threat in the belief that it was a proper way of reinforcing a demand and that there were reasonable grounds for making that demand)—
(a)in paragraph (a), for “which he believed he had reasonable grounds for making” there shall be substituted “ made by him on reasonable grounds ”; and
(b)in paragraph (b), after “believed” there shall be inserted “ , and had reasonable grounds for believing, ”.
(3)After that subsection there shall be inserted—
“(2A)In this section “electronic communication” includes—
(a)any oral or other communication by means of a telecommunication system (within the meaning of the Telecommunications Act 1984 (c. 12)); and
(b)any communication (however sent) that is in electronic form.”
(4)In subsection (3) of that section (definition of “send”)—
(a)after “delivering” there shall be inserted “ or transmitting ”; and
(b)for “or delivered” there shall be substituted “ , delivered or transmitted ”.
(5)In subsection (5) of that section (penalty for offence), for “a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale” there shall be substituted “ imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale, or to both ”.
(6)Subsection (5) does not affect the penalty for an offence committed before the day on which this Act is passed.