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Melon Farmers



6th December

  How much lower can Britain sink?...

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Another victim of the Dangerous Pictures Act. Is this what the campaigners for the law had in mind?
Link Here
HM Courts Service A mother has been charged with two counts of possessing indecent images of dogs.

Michelle Johnston pleaded not guilty to possession of extreme pornography at Wimbledon Magistrates' Court.

The court heard the images, which portrayed a person having sex with a dog, had been sent to her mobile phone unsolicited via WhatsApp Messenger.

Miss Johnston who has fairly significant learning difficulties, will be tried by magistrates on Friday, February 27, next year.

 

29th November

  CAAN Bulletin 4...

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'Tiger Porn' case gives rise to Judicial Review of extreme porn law
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CAAN logo The Consenting Adult Action Network campaigns against UK censorship and the repression of people's enjoyment of sex.

The group publishes occasional bulletins when campaign matters arise and there are several relevant issues on the agenda at the moment.  Bulletin 4 covers the following developments:

'Tiger Porn' case gives rise to Judicial Review of extreme porn law

One of the worst cases of the misuse of S63(7) CJIA 2008 legislation (which criminalises people for possession of extreme pornography ) was the prosecution of Andrew Holland for possessing a comic video clip of a woman apparently having sex with a tiger (actually, a man in a tiger suit). The prosecution had a devastating impact upon Andrew's life but was eventually dropped by the CPS. The circumstances of this case are quite appalling. The excellent campaigners in Backlash have provided the support needed to help Andrew obtain professional legal advice. In October Hodge Jones & Allen LLP solicitors began the legal process to challenge the compatibility of S63 with ECHR....

Rape porn Bill introduced to Parliament (England, Wales and NI)

In February the government introduced a Bill to Parliament that will extend S63(7) CJIA 2008 to criminalise the possession of pornography that depicts rape. It is argued that it may have greater implications for the general public than the first four categories that were originally criminalised. This is because material that depicts rape can be difficult to define....

The battle to stop the criminalisation of the purchase of sex: Modern Slavery Bill

The Modern Slavery Bill is currently working its way through Parliament. A few days ago an MP proposed an amendment which would insert a clause to criminalise the purchase of sex. The English Collective of Prostitutes jumped and in a very short space of time managed to get hundreds of people to write to Bill Committee members asking them to oppose the amendment. We won... MP's did not support the amendment....

Out for Xmas: everything you need to know about the regulation of online smut

Taming the Beast, by Jane Fae, a comprehensive overview of the legal and technical measures taken in the UK to combat online pornography, should now be out in time for Christmas...

...Read the full CAAN Bulletin 4 [pdf]

 

24th November

  Dangerous Work Laptops...

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Dangerous porn victim snitched up by workplace
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HM Courts Service A man has been sentenced to a five month imprisonment, suspended for two years for the possession of extreme porn. He was also ordered to complete an internet offenders course, and pay a £880 fine

Keith Dorrington used a work laptop to download images and videos that showed women having sex with a Great Dane, a snake and a horse. Jurors also heard of images which involved acts which could have damaged the genitals.

The images were reported to police after bosses at Ford's Dagenham dealership found unusual internet traffic on their devices. He admitted four charges of possession of images of people and animals and four counts of possession of films of people and animals.

Dorrington said:

I didn't understand that the extreme material was unlawful but I accept that it was wrong to download it.

 

19th November

  Be careful in shared houses...

Another innocent victim of the Dangerous Pictures Act
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HM Courts Service Daniel Murgatroyd has been sentenced for possession of three extreme pornography movies and 36 still images featuring bestiality. He was given a three month prison sentence suspended for 12 months, and was made the subject of a 12 months supervision order. He must also do 200 hours of unpaid work, and pay a £500 fine.

This came to light after police raided the shared house. The court heard officers executed a search warrant following intelligence that somebody at the address was accessing images of child abuse. No prosecution was brought against one of this housemates in relation to those pictures after the images were found to be tiny thumbnail photos, but in the course of the investigation all the computers in house were searched -- and Murgatroyd's animal pornography was found.

 

13th November

  Police training to trash people's lives over trivia...

Trainee policeman has his career trashed over a bad taste extreme porn joke.
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Metropiltan Police badge A former probationary Metropolitan Police officer has been fined £430 after sending a bad taste joke in the form of an extreme pornographic image to his colleagues.

Jack McGillivray pleaded guilty at London's Westminster Magistrates Court to publishing an obscene article on July 31.

Prosecutor Edmund Hall said McGillivray had promptly accepted that he had sent a single image, which he had received from a friend, to both male and female police trainees while he was on a course.

McGillivray said he had done it humorously and later apologised for causing any offence, has handed in his resignation and is currently suspended.

Deputy chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot heartlessly told McGillivray that she accepted his explanation that it was just a joke but told him it was one which has now had catastrophic consequences . You are about to lose your job and you are about to lose your good character.

 

30th October

 Offsite Article: I'm the Welsh Bus Driver Who Had His Life Ruined by Tiger Porn...

Link Here  full story: Tiger Porn...How an innocent life was trashed over a jokey video clip
tiger angry You could tell straight away it wasn't a real tiger, says Andrew Holland, describing a video sent to him of a man in a tiger suit having sex with a woman. Right from the word go, the tiger was talking.

See article from vice.com

 

29th October

 Offsite Article: 'Tiger porn' case: Can you do better than the CPS?...

Link Here  full story: Tiger Porn...How an innocent life was trashed over a jokey video clip
tony the tiger Andrew Holland suffered ridicule and harassment after prosecutors failed to notice that a lusty tiger in a video found on his phone was actually just a man in a tiger suit. See if you can do better than his prosecutors

See article from telegraph.co.uk

 

28th October

 Offsite Article: Power Trip...

Link Here  full story: Tiger Porn...How an innocent life was trashed over a jokey video clip
newstatesman logo Politicians clamoured for a law that sees the life of an innocent man trashed over a couple of bad taste jokey video clips on his phone. An excellent write up of the Tiger Porn persecution.

See article from newstatesman.com

 

27th October

 Extract: Persecuting ordinary people who have got no chance of knowing what's banned...

Tiger porn victim requests human rights review of extreme pornography law by Crown Prosecution Service
Link Here  full story: Tiger Porn...How an innocent life was trashed over a jokey video clip

Old Bailey The law penalising possession of extreme pornography faces judicial review by a defendant previously charged with having a video of woman having sex with a tiger.

It was revealed in Court that the tiger was actually a man in a tiger-skin costume.

Yet the former defendant, Andrew Holland, of Wrexham, North Wales, suffered significant disruption to his life and widespread public ridicule.

Solicitor Myles Jackman at Hodge Jones & Allen LLP acting on behalf of Mr Holland, said:

Mr Holland does not want others to go through the ordeal that he has faced. Mr Holland wants to ensure that others are not prosecuted unnecessarily in the manner that he was. He remains subject to the risk of further criminal charges in the event that he is in possession of similar joke images in the future.

Consequently Backlash have written to the Prime Minister, and HJA have written to Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions asking her to review the implementation of this law: Section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008.

Something has gone badly wrong when Parliament were told there would be thirty cases a year yet there have been thousands of costly prosecutions emphasised Backlash Chair Hazel Eraclaeous.

If this review is not forthcoming, the law will be challenged by way of judicial review in the Administrative Court of the High Court.

Jon Fuller, spokesperson for Backlash, said:

This law threatens anyone with a sex life they want to keep private. It threatens ordinary members of the public who exchange dirty jokes by phone and over the internet. Potentially criminalizing millions of people is a disproportionate consequence of a law not based on harm and with no clear benefit.

Letter to the Prime Minister from Backlash

backlash logo Dear Prime Minister

S63(7) of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 Prospective Judicial Review in the Administrative Court of the High Court: Pre-Action Protocol Letter

In the years since S63(7) of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 was enacted there have been over 5,500 prosecutions for possession offences. Prior to the introduction of the legislation Ministers said there would merely be a handful of cases each year, and the Regulatory Impact Assessment predicted just 30 per annum.

Of great concern is that over the five years since enactment of the legislation the public, law enforcement agencies and the judiciary remain either oblivious or uncertain as to the precise meaning of at least two, and possibly all four, categories of the legislation. The Simon Walsh trial showed that CPS had sought to widen the meaning of Section 63(7)(b), seeking to prosecute for possession of images that depicted unconventional but not dangerous behaviour. The Andrew Holland ( Tiger porn ) case (Section 63(7)(d)) showed that harmless but crude jokes could also result in prosecution.

While both of these cases and others resulted in acquittal, it is unacceptable that the legal profession remains uncertain as to what types of material may get members of the public into trouble. There is emphatic evidence that many lawyers have advised people to plead guilty to possession offences to avoid the cost involved in trial, despite subsequent examination of the facts revealing that no offence had been committed.

The brutal reality is that lives are being turned upside down, careers destroyed and worse. In the light of the extreme nature of the penalties upon conviction, inclusion on the sex offenders register, lengthy period of incarceration and a heavy fine, it is wholly unacceptable that the public is denied an unequivocal, precise and detailed statement of that which is legal and that illegal to possess. If it really is impossible for the executive to provide clarity, then legislators must repeal the sections that cause the greatest difficulty (S63(7)(a) and(b).

Today, Hodge Jones & Allen LLP, acting on behalf of Andrew Holland, has written to The Director of Public Prosecutions explaining that the case against Mr Holland breached his human rights for three reasons.

1. That the term extreme pornography is insufficiently clearly defined in S63 CJIA 2008. It is not clear from the wording and accompanying case law how a potential defendant would be able to understand its scope and foresee the consequence of his/her actions;

2. There is insufficient guidance from the DPP as to when offences under S63 will be prosecuted; and

3. The offence is a disproportionate means of achieving the legislation's intended aims.

Hodge Jones & Allen LLP have asked that the Secretary of State for the Home Department carries out a Human Rights Impact Assessment in relation to S63 CJIA 2008. In the event that the section fails the Human Rights Impact Assessment it is requested that this be confirmed in writing so that proceedings can be issued by way of judicial review by the Claimant who can then seek a Declaration of Incompatibility by way of a Consent Order. This will allow the Secretary of State for the Home Department to repeal Section 63 of the Criminal Justice & Immigration Act 2008 by use of the fast-track procedure under Section 10 of the Human Rights Act 1998.

I appeal to you to intervene to ensure that common sense and justice prevail. The harm being caused by S63(7) CJIA 2008 now greatly exceeds any perceived benefits.

Yours faithfully

Hazel Eracleous Chair, Backlash

 

Are vague laws allowing police to ride roughshod over legal standards?

See  article from  politics.co.uk by Jane Fae

The extreme porn law has been the government's preferred means of dealing with online smut for ten years. It was always an accident waiting to happen. For five years, government appears to have gotten away with it, but today's threat, by solicitors Hodge Allen & Jones to take the law to judicial review if the director of public prosecutions does not explain once and for all what is and is not an offence could be the final straw.

...Read the full article

 

21st October

  Is it all politicians can do, dream up new ways to imprison anime fans?...

Barrister warns Manga and anime fans to be careful after man is imprisoned over dangerous cartoons
Link Here

HM Courts Service An anime fan has made legal history as he was convicted of having illegal pictures of cartoon children. Robul Hoquei is believed to be the first UK victim of the Dangerous Cartoons Act hauled before court over his collection of Japanese Manga and anime.

He admitted 10 counts of possessing prohibited cartoon images of children at Teesside Crown Court .

His barrister Richard Bennett said: These are not what would be termed as paedophilic images. These are cartoons. And he noted that such banned images were freely available on legitimate sites. He said:

This case should serve as a warning to every Manga and Anime fan to be careful. It seems there are many thousands of people in this country, if they are less then careful, who may find themselves in that position too.

Police found the images when they seized Hoque's computer from his home on June 13, 2012, said prosecutor Harry Hadfield. He said officers found 288 still and 99 moving images, but none were of real people.

Hoque was given a nine-month prison sentence suspended for two years.

Comment: More dangerous drawings

From Angelus Section 62 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009

letter writing The article claims this is the first time that "dangerous drawings" charges under the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 (C&JA) have been brought solely in regard to Japanese anime/manga style images (presumably as opposed to things like "Simpsons porn" as in another recent case). There were other charges originally brought but subsequently dropped, and the nature of these charges suggests that the accused was possibly already under a supervision order following his prior conviction for possession of indecent pseudo-photographs of children, which is also mentioned in the article. So this is a convicted sex offender, a convenient piece of low-hanging fruit on which to see if charges under Section 62 of the C&JA could be made to stick.

In the end, the accused entered a guilty plea, which given his situation seems understandable as it probably helped him to avoid prison. However, I am again concerned at some of the reporting from the courtroom, which suggests once more that the bar for conviction under this law is being set far too low. When the initial draft of what was to become the C&JA was first introduced into Parliament, there was considerable disquiet among some MPs and peers because of the possible impact of Section 62 on freedom of expression and genuine works of art. In response, it was stated on behalf of the Government that the wording of the Act was intended to catch only those images at the "upper end of the scale", images that would already be criminally obscene under existing legislation. To me, the wording makes it quite clear that the criminal obscenity of an image needs to be established in order to secure a conviction, but the article's description of some of the images in question leaves me in considerable doubt that this wording is being applied correctly.

The most chilling comment, though, comes from the defence barrister, who is reported as warning every anime and manga fan in the country to be careful lest they put themselves at risk of prosecution. If that is how the C&JA is now being interpreted then it clearly has gone way beyond its original intended scope. I can only hope that the first person charged under this Act who dares to enter a "not guilty" plea somehow manages to assemble a defence team that is up to the task of proving that this has happened.

Update from Angelus in response to a query about the origins of quotes:

The phrase upper end of the scale may not have been used verbatim in the Commons in regard to the C&JA, but can definitely be inferred from the minutes of the C&JA Commons committee meetings. For example, on day 2, a spokesman for the IWF said , I understand that the desire of Government, in this instance in particular, is to catch content at the upper end of sadistic levels.

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. 

Campaigners: