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Melon Farmers



1st September

  Extreme Law...


Nice 'n' Naughty

Man with no previous convictions told he faces jail for possession of a few bestiality images and videos
Link Here
HM Courts Service A Devon man has fallen victim to the Dangerous Pictures Act.

Richard Blackmore admitted seven charges of possessing extreme pornography between October last year and February this year involving people having sex with dogs, horses, cows, ponies and other assorted live animals .

Exeter magistrates heard police searched Blackmore's home on an unconnected matter and found more than 850 still images and 18 movie files on two computers.

Blackmore, who has no previous convictions, was bailed to appear before a judge for sentencing and told he faces a prison sentence.

 

14th August

 Commented: Dangerous Drawings Act...


Nice 'n' Naughty

Man convicted of possession of cartoon sex images featuring characters from the Simpsons
Link Here
bart lisa simpson A man is facing jail over cartoon pictures of Bart Simpson having sex with his sister Lisa and mother Marge. Other images showed Bart having sex with his teacher Mrs Krabappel as well as his best friend Millhouse having sex with his mother.

Andrew Smith, who is a full-time carer for his 87-year-old mother, was found guilty of nine counts of possessing prohibited images of children after 36 sketches, drawings, cartoons and computer-generated images, many showing sexual relationships between children and older relatives, were found on disks at his home.

All of the images were cartoons, sketches, drawings or CGIs. None were actual photographs.

The jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict after about 40 minutes.

Smith will be sentenced on August 29 at Carlisle Crown Court.

Comment: A Dangerous Path

13th August 2014. From Angelus

letter writing t's perfectly normal for me to be shocked and stunned by what I read in the Mail, but this time it was the quotes from the courtroom that left me shocked and wondering what was going on.

The Coroners and Justice Act 2009 (C&JA) is very specific when it comes to the subject of prohibited images of children . These are defined as images that satisfy all the parts of a three part test. So, firstly an image of a child must be pornographic , which is defined as being of such a nature that it must reasonably be assumed to have been produced solely or principally for the purpose of sexual arousal. Secondly, it must depict one or more of a shopping list of body parts or actions involving said body parts. Thirdly, it must be criminally obscene, or in the words of the Act, grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character.

Starting with the third test, obscenity, this Act follows the formula first used in the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008. This wording caused quite a debate in Parliament at the time, despite Government assertions that it was simply intended to bring the definition of obscenity into the 21st century rather than materially change it, and to supposedly make it more compatible with Human Rights legislation which required laws to be objective rather than subjective. During its passage through the House of Lords, the Lib Dems attempted to amend the Act by replacing this wording with a direct reference to the Obscene Publications Act 1959 (OPA). However, this was successfully rebuffed by the Government when a Minister stated that this amendment could actually widen the scope of the Act. So, we are left with the clear message from the legislators themselves that obscenity within the meaning of the C&JA is to be interpreted no less stringently than the OPA, and possibly even more stringently. So, referring to the Crown Prosecution Service's guidelines for the OPA, only things like bestiality, realistic portrayals of rape, torture, mutilation and so on are likely to be considered criminally obscene. An image of two people engaged in non-abusive sex would certainly not be classed as obscene. Of course, possession of a photograph of a child having sex would certainly (and rightly) be prosecuted, but not because it is obscene as such.

The second test is clear in some parts and not so clear in others, but in the case of an image of an adult having sex with a child there is no doubt that it would be satisfied. The first test though relies in a Crown court on the jury to determine whether an image was produced for the purposes of sexual arousal and is therefore pornographic , but I fail to see how anyone other than, let's just say, a very special sort of person could think that an image of Simpsons sex could ever be sexually arousing - almost certainly they were produced as a bad-taste joke. However, we then hear the defence stating in mitigation that the accused did not download the images for sexual gratification , which is not relevant, and may even have misled jury members into believing that it was the motive of the accused rather than the motive of the original artist that they needed to decide on. The Mail article is admittedly a little unclear about exactly what images were being prosecuted because it states that the police found 36 images of children having sex but only 9 charges resulted, so it's possible the Simpsons ones may not actually have been involved. But if they were involved then I fail to see how could they could have been found to be illegal as they were clearly not pornographic within the terms of the Act. And if they were among the 27 images that were reckoned to be legal, or at least having a low probability of achieving a conviction, how is it that they could be mentioned in court? If someone is being prosecuted for, say, stealing jewellery, how can the fact that they have other jewellery in their home that can't be proven to be stolen be used as part of the case against them? I suppose we shall never know exactly what the images that resulted in the charges were like. Which of itself is rather Kafkaesque, as modern Human Rights-compatible law is supposed to give people a clear idea of what is legal and what isn't.

One thing that really is clear, though, is that if all of these three test need to be satisfied before the law is broken, that also means by extension that they are independent, as otherwise why would it be necessary to specify anything more than the most restrictive test of the three? This means that if an image of a child having sex is pornographic (so tests 1 and 2 are satisfied), that cannot mean per se that it is also obscene as obscenity is a separate test. And yet here we have a quote from the prosecution stating There's nothing proper and sensible and indeed certainly not legal about pornographic images of children . As just explained, this is not automatically true. Perhaps that misleading remark influenced the jury, perhaps not, again we shall probably never know.

Once again, the whole issue of how dangerous drawings prosecutions are conducted is brought into question. Leaving aside for the moment the possibility that nobody involved in this case - police, prosecution, defence or judge - properly understood the law involved, the C&JA has claimed another victim. Even if we might find the accused and his ideas repugnant, that should not be relevant in the courtroom as the case should be tried on the facts alone, but it seems to me that he was tried just as much for those ideas as he was for the images in his possession. A photograph of a child having sex (or arguably, even posing erotically) is a record of the criminal abuse of a vulnerable human being, and as such, creating or possessing such a photograph is rightly prosecuted. However, a drawing, no matter what it is of, is a record of an idea . To criminalise the transmission of ideas is to start down a dangerous path. As the late John Mortimer QC famously put it in his opening arguments for the defence at the Oz trial in 1971, the defendants then stood at the boundaries of our freedom to think and draw and write what we please. One of those freedoms has now been lost -- how long will it be before the other two are lost as well?

As a postscript, the final irony is that had the accused lived 60 miles further north he would have had no case to answer, because these images that are so filthy, obscene and very disturbing that possessing them is worthy of up to three years in prison are perfectly legal in Scotland.

letter writing Comment: Bizarre

14th August 2014. From Alan

This seems utterly bizarre.

Was the bloke represented by a specialist lawyer? Am I right in thinking that the material must be produced for the purposes of sexual arousal?

I could understand someone getting done under this law -- absurd as it is -- for possessing erotic manga/anime with characters having the extremely youthful features which form part of the artistic convention. But the SIMPSONS???? Is anybody going to get turned on by totally unrealistic yellow people engaging in sexual congress?

I hope he can mount an appeal.

 

13th August

  Trashing Lives...


Nice 'n' Naughty

When a conviction for a few extreme porn images is just the start of the punishment
Link Here
hcpc logo A former social worker found guilty of having extreme pornographic images has had his suspension extended.

Stewart Ford was convicted in 2012 for having 50 videos and images on his home computer.

In 2013, the former Essex County Council employee was banned from social work for 12 months. The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) has now extended the suspension for a further year. A conduct and competence committee claimed his fitness to practise was still impaired because of his conviction.

The council's representative, David Allen, told the panel Ford was trying to appeal against his conviction and this somehow demonstrated that Ford had not yet accepted responsibility for the facts which led to his conviction, the serious and unacceptable nature of his conduct and how it adversely affects his professional status. He remains in denial, Allen told the panel.

 

2nd August

  Extreme Injustice...

Two men fined 500 pounds for unsolicited animal porn pics presumably sent as spam or a bad taste jokes
Link Here
whatsapp logo Two men have been convicted of possessing truly disgusting pornography on their mobile phones - despite being sent the material from people they did not know.

Old Bailey judge Paul Worsley QC said the content, found on the phones of respectable defendants Gary Ticehurst and Mark Kelly, was intended for shock value .

The videos and image were later recovered by police after they stopped the defendants on an unrelated matter.

Sentencing the defendants to a conditional discharge but each being made to pay £500 costs, judge Worsley admitted the punishment was lenient but said neither man had solicited the extreme content. But he warned:

You have pleaded guilty to possessing truly disgusting images. It makes a big difference if someone goes out of their way to seek it, or if they're sent it by some mischievous colleague.

In your case it was unsolicited. This is an exceptional case in some ways. The public should not find this carte blanche to possess material of this nature.

Kelly pleaded guilty to one count of possessing an extreme pornographic image likely to cause injury, and three counts of possessing pornographic images involving animals.

Ticehurs admitted one count of one count of possessing an extreme pornographic image likely to cause injury, and two counts of possessing pornographic images involving animals.

Defending himself in court, Kelly said he was sent the material by an unknown person via Whatsapp. He said:

I deleted the videos from my Whatsapp, but I had no ideas they would save to my camera roll. I didn't even watch the full content of the video.

Update: A few more details

3rd August 2014. From courtnewsuk.co.uk

The two friends were caught with the extreme pornography after being stopped by police at Fenchurch Street Station in central London. They included a man pumping air into his disfigured genitals, a man having sex with an amputee (there's nothing in the Dangerous Pictures act that catches this) and a woman having sex with a horse.

Comment: And MPs said that the law would be only used in a few extreme cases

4th August 2014. From phantom See article from Melon Farmers Forum

House of Commons logo When this ghastly law was going through parliament we were given no end of rhetoric how this only applied to the most depraved cases. This would only ever catch cases which were so extreme they were in danger of falling off the end of the shelf. The extreme end of extreme, so to speak. They were very insistent on this.

You remember the impact assessment? Only 12 estimated prosecutions? Thus no significant impact.

We're now running at a thousand cases per year and two guys who thought they'd deleted material they never asked for have just been done.

The lie that was told to parliament has by now become so big, it makes you want to scream.

 

31st July

  Commercial Enterprise...

18 months jail for second offence of selling bestiality DVDs
Link Here
HM Courts Service A man has been jailed for 18 months after being caught selling bestiality porn DVDs for the second time. Robert Cowell admitted to police he dealt in porn DVDs by sending catalogues out to customers, so they could order what they wanted.

In a previous conviction he escaped prison. On that occasion, he distributed the DVDs on an agency basis for a company called Euroscan, who were based abroad.

Now, Cowell has been jailed after pleading guilty to two charges of selling obscene DVDs and two of possessing extreme pornographic DVDs. Locking him up for 18 months, Judge Paul Sloan QC said:

5,000 DVDs depicting pornography were seized. They had been boxed-up according to category. Of those, in the region of 250 to 300 depicted bestiality.

You said you did this because you wished to provide for your family but you were aware what you were doing was both wrong and illegal. This was serious offending. It was a commercial enterprise and the fact you have previous convictions for life offending is an aggravating factor.

 

24th July

  Anti-BDSM lords get spanked...

Proposals to massive expand the definition of 'extreme porn' to cover all BDSM turned down
Link Here
house of lords red logo This Xmas tree bill is currently getting the attention of the Lords and a number of amendments have been moved in the past few days.

The amendments to the "rape porn" clause 28 seek to broaden the DPA still further and if enacted would seem to criminalize just about every BDSM image which includes a real looking individual. They would move the offence way beyond the limited kind of real (highly unlikely) or (overwhelmingly) staged rape images covered by the current bill's wording.

Another brand new clause, 42B, is megalomaniac stuff about "licensing" foreign beamed in hard porn ( presumably leading to attempts to extradite foreign citizens who breach such a UK law?).

The movers of these amendments are:

  • Baroness Thornton (Labour. LSE Fabianite)
  • Lord Beecham - formerly Jeremy Beecham of Newcastle city council ( a Labour Justice shadow).
  • Baroness Howe of Idlicote (Mrs Geoffrey Howe. Crossbench) - renowned censorship enthusiast (42B only)

Baroness Thornton, Glenys Thornton, is a Labour member of the House of Lords and is married to John Carr - one of the most outspoken advocates of limiting internet porn to ‘protect the children’.

Beecham's part in all this is of some significant concern. Being part of Labour's justice team it could be here we are seeing the kind of broad brush criminalization using the DPA which would come out of a future Labour government - the possibility of which is not very distant.

The debate on the clauses -

See Clause 28 amendments and new 42B (42A in the Hansard extracts)-

Thornton and Beecham were seeking to remove the "disgusting/obscene" etc part of the DPA. This leaves a far wider amount of material liable to prosecution as 'Extreme Porn' such that softcore and perhaps even sexy horror films could be then be included. 

Thornton's words about "cultural harm" (that is some nebulous subjective concept of the sort which figures so importantly in the sloganizing propaganda of the obsessive agitators - a quite different thing to careful, well researched real world solid evidence of harm, which should be the basis of all legislation in a rational democracy) illustrates the nasty totalitarian concepts being used bit by bit to create criminal laws.

For the moment Lord Faulks (Conservative. Justice) for the govt politely bins the amendments, which are withdrawn by their sponsors.

On clause 28 he says:

Amendment 36B would replace the Government’s amendments to the extreme pornography offence, including the relevant defence, with a broad provision that would criminalise the portrayal of any sexual activity that involves real or apparent lack of consent or any form of physical restraint which prevents participants indicating a withdrawal of consent. This is very broad. It could have the effect of bringing into the terms of this targeted offence the possession of pornographic images that depict any form of non-consensual sexual activity.

In the light of the balance that this Government have sought to strike with this offence, we believe that such an extension to the offence would be going too far. It would, I believe, widen inappropriately its scope and could make too wide a range of sexual activity subject to serious criminal sanction.

Thornton seems to regard not criminalizing all material she and her cronies regard as causes of "cultural harm" as "loopholes", rather than representing limits and balances to counter totalitarian statism.

On new amendment 42B (42A in Hansard)-

Lord Faulks points to the ISP filter system as the government's way of addressing access to adult material, including that coming from outside UK jurisdiction.

Thornton asserts it's not working. Has she told Ms Perry yet? Apparently Thornton has "clear evidence" of the harm being done to children by this material. Has she really? So, Thornton and her pals want to supplant/supplement one unworkable failed system with another.

But for the moment the plans are thwarted and the amendment was withdrawn.

 

11th July

 Offsite Article: Parents blame violent porn for murder of daughter...

Link Here
HM Courts Service Couple tell of anger at how easy it is to find extreme content online

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

9th July

  Baying for Blood...

Victim of Dangerous Pictures Act given a hard time in his community
Link Here

HM Courts Service A man has been barred from the committee of an Edinburgh neighbourhood centre after he was convicted for possessing extreme pornography.

Gary Slow, previously a committee member at Bingham Community Centre, was ejected by fellow leaders at a recent annual general meeting, shortly after they were told about the conviction. Slow pleaded guilty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in November after unspecified prohibited material was found in his possession, but most likely animal porn.

Senior staff at the centre said they were angry that council authorities failed to inform them immediately and claimed the lack of awareness had affected their ability to do their jobs properly. They also claimed they had been gagged from disclosing details of the conviction to others because it could lead to Slow coming to harm, presumably from community members with a lynch mob mentality.

Court documents confirm Slow pleaded guilty to the offence of possessing extreme pornographic images after police were given permission to search his home in August 2012. He was issued with a community payback order and told to undertake 120 hours of unpaid work. His name was also added to the sex offenders register but later recalled after it was decided the offence did not meet the threshold at which full inclusion was necessary.

A source said:

He was there at the meeting and he was told he was barred. We told him, 'you need to leave, we cannot have you here'. I don't want to see the guy murdered... BUT ...he's walking around our community and he's a member of other voluntary groups and it's just not sitting right.

Police raid house

The Dangerous Pictures Act

The UK Government passed the Criminal Justice & Immigration Act 2008 criminalising the possession of adult, staged, consensual violent pornography with draconian penalties of up to 3 years in prison. The law also bans images of bestiality and necrophilia.

The law applies to England, Wales & Northern Ireland

See Document Index

Latest

2014 Extension to images depicting non-consensual sex

See bill progress at Criminal Injustice and Courts Bill index page: Passed 2nd Reading in the House of Commons

England

The Dangerous Pictures chapter of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 came into force on January 26th 2009.

Government guidance [pdf] has been published to further explain what images are considered dangerous to possess.

See also CPS Extreme Pornography: Legal Guidance

Scotland

A bill was passed in June 2010 to become the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 [pdf].

The clause came into force on 28th March 2011. Public guidance has now been published by the Scottish Government

Anime girl of indeterminent age
How are we expected
to know how old she is?

Criminalising Anime Dangerous Cartoons Act

The UK Government introduced a clause in Coroners and Justice Bill to criminalise the possession of non photographic but pornographic images of children with draconian penalties of up to 3 years in prison.

The Dangerous Cartoons clauses are found in Part 2 Chapter 2 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 and explanatory notes.

The Melon Farmers have also identified what they consider the key points of the law

The Bill passed into law when it received Royal Assent on 12th November 2009. The Dangerous Cartoons clauses came into force on 6th April 2010. 

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