A victim of the Dangerous Pictures Act has admitted breaking a court order by looking at cartoon porn images of The Simpsons
on his phone.
Scott Wright viewed the jokey photoshopped footage of Lisa and Bart Simpson after it was sent to his mobile by a friend. But Wright, was banned from using an internet-enabled phone after previously pleading guilty to eleven charges of possessing extreme
Lisa Hardy, persecuting, said police found the device when they searched the room Wright was staying in in Lincoln. Wright admitted he had seen the images and asked for them to be sent to his phone.
The court heard Wright had been caught with a prohibited mobile phone on two earlier occasions and he was made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order which banned him from using a computer or other internet-enabled device unless it was fitted
with censorship software approved by Lincolnshire Police.
Sunil Khanna, mitigating, said Wright did not view the footage of The Simpsons in a sexual manner and regarded it as a joke.
Wright pleaded guilty to three charges of breaking a sexual offences order and one charge of breaching a youth rehabilitation order between December 2011 and October this year.
He was sentenced to two years supervision and ordered to complete a 30 day activity program. Passing sentence Judge Michael Heath warned Wright he could have no complaint if he was sent to jail.
A taxi driver who ended up with a criminal conviction after his mate sent a bad taste animal porn film clip to his mobile phone has won his fight against the
100-hour unpaid work order.
Brian Sharples did nothing to solicit the illegal movie and tried to delete it from his phone, but his lack of technological know-how let him down, a London hearing was told. Having thought he was rid of the illegal bestiality image, he went on to
download music to his PC from his phone, along with the extreme porn film.
The image was discovered by police in May last year and he was arrested and his computer seized. He pleaded guilty to possession of an extreme pornographic image at Liverpool Crown Court in August.
This week Lord Justice Davis, Mr Justice Keith and Judge Brian Barker QC, sitting at London's Criminal Appeal Court, quashed that sentence and gave him a conditional discharge for six months.
The court heard that the sentencing judge had accepted that he had not solicited the image, but had been sceptical about his explanation that he had thought it was erased, despite his accepted basis of plea.
Mr Justice Keith said: We don't think there was any real basis for the judge to have doubted his answer that he thought he had deleted the film.
What a nasty state of 'justice' when the the Director of Public Persecutions, Kier Starmer approves the devastating prosecution of a man just for a bad taste video clip sent no doubt as a joke. Shameful!
A pensioner has fallen victim to the Dangerous Pictures Act after he was caught with a collection of animal porn.
Alister Mollison was found in possession of 600 bestiality videos. He was made the subject of 12-month community order with supervision, and also ordered to pay £ 85 costs when he appeared before magistrates
Rachael Dodsworth, persecuting, said specialist hi-tech crime officers raided Mollison's former home:
There they found a huge quantity of DVDs, video cassettes and recording equipment. There were 1,468 movies. Of those, 661 depicted extreme pornography. They were in the form of adult bestiality. He apologised and said he would be happy to
forfeit the material.
Mollison had pleaded guilty to possession of extreme pornography at an earlier hearing.
The Consenting Adult Action Network (CAAN) have been researching the extent of Dangerous Picture prosecutions in Scotland.
The Scottish variant of the law against extreme porn was enacted in March 2011 and the period under analysis in this report is August 2011 to August 2012.
Via a Freedom of Information request found that 41 cases of Dangerous Pictures had been investigated. 27 cases are still in progress, and the outcome of the 14 case resolved so far is:
8 cases dropped
1 not convicted
It is not yet clear as to the pattern behind the prosecutions. South of the border, nearly all prosecutions are linked to investigations for other offences (most frequently linked to various forms of child abuse). Extreme porn prosecutions are then
either used to top up the original charges or else used for vindictive prosecutions should the main charges fall through as in the notable case of Simon Walsh.
Essex social worker falls victim to the Dangerous Pictures Act
28th September 2012
Another typically inadequate news report from the BBC who seem unable to report important facts probably out of some nod to political correctness. See
A social worker with Essex County Council who had extreme pornography on his home computers has been given a one-year community order. He must also carry out 40 hours of unpaid work.
Stewart Ford denied possession of 50 extreme videos and images, but was found guilty by a Southend Crown Court jury.
After the hearing, the council said Ford was suspended as an adult social care worker and later dismissed.
Police had arrested him on unrelated offences, which were later dropped, and found the extreme pornography after seizing a number of computers from his home.
Detective Constable Bob Evans said: This is not a victimless crime as all those persons taking part in the extreme pornographic videos are themselves victims being exploited.
Presumably this implies that the implies that the images were of bestiality. It seems unlikely that participants in images of BDSM, fisting or whatever else the authorities deem to be extreme, could be described as all being exploited.
A social worker who had extreme pornography on his home computer is to face a disciplinary hearing.
Not content with a court punishment and being sacked from his job, 'society' is now pushing that his entire career be trashed.
The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) will now decide whether he is fit to continue in social work. The HCPC will hear an allegation that Ford's conviction means his fitness to practise as a social worker is impaired .
The hearing on Friday is expected to last one day.
A panel of the Health and Care Professions Council's (HCPC) fitness to practise committee decided the conviction was enough to damage public confidence in Ford and, potentially, the social work profession.
However, it noted that the court did not impose a custodial sentence. In addition, Ford is contemplating an appeal and has found a barrister to support him.
The panel therefore decided that a one-year suspension would protect the public, but allow for a review in case Ford's appeal is successful.
He would also have to prove he had taken steps to update and maintain his professional knowledge during the suspension period, the panel said.
Consenting Adult Action Network (CAAN) has revealed details of the the number of people the CPS has charged (and reaching first hearing) under the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act extreme porn provisions and the number of convictions
(according to the Ministry of Justice).
Charged (and reaching first hearing)
S63(7)(a): life threatening images
S63(7)(b): serious injury to breasts, anus or genitals
S63(7)(a): life threatening images
S63(7)(b): serious injury to breasts, anus or genitals
The vast majority of the police actions have been as a result of computer/phone searches for people investigated for unrelated reasons, most notably child porn. Most of these cases have been mostly uncontested as the main charges are more serious and
take precedence. The dangerous pictures charges being used just to top up the main charge.
In some cases the main charge has fallen through but the authorities have continued the dangerous Pictures charges. These cases have shown that the authorities have been persecuting innocent people for jokey bad taste phone clips and exaggerated claims
about the 'serious' injury, such as the Simon Walsh persecution over a handful of anal fisting images.
In fact there hasn't yet been a report of a case along the lines of what the law was originally intended to deal with, ie somebody like Graham Coutts, convicted of murder and found to have a large collection of violent porn.
We may have a coalition Government, but as it goes about fixing the economy the CPS are prosecuting individuals based on authoritarian legislation passed by the Labour Government. The most recent of which was Simon Walsh, an Independent Councillor in the
City of London, Mayoral appointee to the London Fire Authority and a Barrister had a life-changing 18 months waiting for his trial for possession of pornography. There are many aspects of this case that are so wrong, not least the length of time it has
taken and the damage that inflicts on an individual mentally, reputationally and financially. Here Simon shares his very personal experience at the hands of Labour's laws.
If you do not know about the case brought by CPS against Simon Walsh you need to read about his trial for possession of extreme pornography.
Very many people who know about the case and have commented upon it suggest that there were political or other reasons for his prosecution, but the facts are that he was prosecuted for possession of material similar to that which resulted in the
acquittal of Michael Peacock in January of this year, that the likely to cause serious injury provision of CJIA 2008 S63(7b) was unlikely to succeed and yet, despite Simon's acquittal his life plans have been utterly destroyed.
This case proves all too painfully that one does not have to be guilty or found guilty to be ruined and that anyone whose private life could be linked to porn (by personal design or otherwise), is a potential target and has good reason to be afraid.
Last week, a jury at Kingston Crown Court took 90 minutes to acquit Walsh on all counts. In a potentially landmark case, they
found that the image of the underage boy in fact showed an adult in his mid-twenties, and that the five other images could not be called extreme or pornographic, nor were likely to cause injury. Many people may think these
practices distasteful but the pictures Walsh possessed of them were not unlawful.
Today he describes himself as roadkill --- a victim of the process by which the CPS is perhaps discovering the limits of the 2008 legislation. His career, he says, has been stopped in its tracks by that initial police suspicion, with its
catastrophic implications of paedophilia, and by the splashing of his sex life across the press. He also claims that the CPS was out to get a conviction by whatever means they could .
The damage is irreparable. What I had, the status I had, has been ruined... The CPS refuses to accept that certain slightly unusual, but consensual, safe and pleasurable practices should be permitted, he claims. That's got to stop ...
It's not even sado-masochism. That's not the way I do it. It's just a group of guys having fun.
[Re] Simon Walsh's acquittal at the Kingston Crown Court for allegedly being in possession of extreme pornography under section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act.
The five images in question depicted anal fisting and urethral sounding, both activities featured in the Peacock Trial. At the time I expressed the view that the CPS, along with the Metropolitan Police and the BBFC needed to review the
I can report that, post Michael Peacock's #ObscenityTrial and pre Simon Walsh's #PornTrial the CPS did indeed meet with representatives from the Met and BBFC. However, I am told that the Peacock Trial was considered to be a singular prosecution
and therefore the result of the review process was not to amend the guidelines in any way, shape or form. Therefore more defendants may have to put their lives on hold like Michael and Simon did whilst challenging such intrusive prosecutions.
It is my contention that the matter is now beyond the remit of the CPS, Met and BBFC and that the subject requires the scrutiny of the Home Secretary, Ministry of Justice and the Law Commission and that questions should be asked in the House.
I guess the BBFC were just told to continue to cut material considered extreme or obscene by the CPS and police. Hopefully they had no part in the decision to continue to persecute people for images or legal and consensual sex.
The Crown Prosecution Service under the current director of public prosecutions, Keir Starmer, is earning a deservedly bad reputation
for its vexatious litigation. Her Majesty's chief inspector estimates that almost one in 10 of its prosecutions is baseless Thousands of people plead guilty, nevertheless, just to get the CPS off their backs.
Newsnight carried a brief overview, an interview with London's Chief Crown Prosecutor, Alison Saunders, and an interview with
the acquitted defendant Simon Walsh.
I want to discuss is Alison Saunders' attempt to defend her decision made on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service.
When asked by Eddie Mair why the CPS had brought the case, Saunders replied:
We brought the case because there was sufficient evidence and when we looked at the case we found that there was evidence to prosecute the offence of possessing extreme pornography. What we looked at there was whether or not there was a
pornographic image and the element of the act we prosecuted under was whether or not the image showed there was likely to be harm or injury caused.
I'm going to start here with her description of the test being applied - likely to be harm or injury caused . This idea of harm and injury or harm and serious injury is repeated multiple times by Alison Saunders throughout
the piece. I think it is important to note here what the law actually calls for:
an act which results, or is likely to result, in serious injury to a person's anus, breasts or genitals
Note, serious injury , not harm or serious injury . It has got to be likely to cause serious injury . All this talk of harm (which is a much wider term) is misleading. Serious Injury is the nature of the offence
nothing less. Let's not have the Chief Crown Prosecutor trying to widen an already too wide law and using slopping thinking to justify cases.
Let's start with what looks like a very ominous development indeed: the summing up by the trial judge in which he apparently explained to the jury that serious injury could involve physical, mental or moral harm .. This is par for
the course. Over the years we have seen how the courts have extended legislation on child abuse material so that making an image, which the public, I suspect, naively consider to involve some sort of recording equipment and the presence
of real live children now covers downbloading . (Cause the image gets made on your hard drive, innit?).
Not that I have enormous issues with this particular extension: just that I think if the law was meant to be that, parliament should have said so. Then there's the slide in respect of dvd's and other material from legislating against stuff that
causes harm to stuff that causes potential harm or is likely to cause harm .
And this year we have the interesting extension of the law on Obscene Publications to bring one-to-one conversations and online chat within its remit. Again: I can see WHY the authorities might wish this to be the case...but if they do, why not
be honest and legislate it?
So. The fly in the ointment of this week's case is the clear revelation that many in the judiciary have already internalised the falsehood that extreme porn legislation is a bit like Obscenity law and meant to deal with mental and moral harm
despite the very clear denials by ministers and politicians just four short years ago that this law was intended to deal with depiction pure and simple.
Barrister Simon Walsh and former Boris Johnson aide has been acquitted of possessing extreme pornography in a landmark case
over the boundaries of what can be described as extreme .
The jury was unanimous and took less than 90 minutes to clear Walsh after a week-long trial.
The case is believed to be the first to address whether images of anal fisting, a sexual practice which is legal, and urethral sounding are extreme pornography, as defined under the disgraceful law, section 63 of the Criminal Justice and
Immigration Act 2008.
After searching Walsh's home and office computers, the investigators found nothing incriminating. All they could come up with six email attachment images, on a Hotmail server account he set up to receive and send sexual messages.
Surely this lack of substantial evidence, coupled with the desperately thin set of email attachments must have sounded a few warning bells about persecution. Anyone owning a computer must know that there are bound to be a few undesirable images
hanging round somewhere, especially in email folders. It must have gone through the minds of jurors that should the police ever take an interest in their computers, then this could easily happen to them or their families.
Walsh was sacked from his position on the London Fire Authority on his arrest in April last year. He was a man of impeccable character who had made an outstanding contribution to society, the court heard, and had previously chaired the City of
London Corporation police authority and licensing authority.
Walsh faced five charges under the 2008 act, which stipulates images are extreme if they are grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character and if they portray, in an explicit and realistic way any act which
results in, or is likely to result, in serious injury to a person's anus, breasts or genitals .
The prosecution claimed three images, found in attachments in Walsh's sent box, showed urethreal sounding, where a medical instrument is inserted into the tip of the penis to stretch the urethra and stimulate the prostate, acts that were likely
to cause injury to a person's genitals. Two images showed anal fisting, which was likely to cause injury to a person's anus, it claimed.
The defence argued there was no evidence of any serious injury in any of those images, and that the activities were low risk. Walsh had taken the urethral sounding images himself at a New Year's Eve party and sent them only to other participants
at the party, the court heard.
Medical evidence was examined showing that there were risks in these activities, but these risks were not generally 'likely' to occur.
A sixth charge, of possessing an indecent image of an underage boy, related to an attachment sent to Walsh which showed a sexually aroused male with a ligature. Walsh told the court he had no recollection of ever opening the attachment on the
email, which was unsolicited and unanswered. The defence claimed the image was not of a child but an adult. It was also not possible to prove Walsh had opened the attachment, the court heard.
Three defence experts viewed the image and stated in written reports that Jason was in his twenties. As a matter of legal procedure, the jury never heard this expert evidence. Instead they used their common sense and acquitted Walsh.
Prosecutor Thomas Wilkins told the court Walsh was a gay man who has what he described as a strange sex life . Wilkins said: He doesn't dispute that he uses the email account purely for his sex life. He doesn't dispute that he is
interested in bondage and sadomasochism. There was no dispute that Walsh had sent three of the images, but, added Wilkins, he disputes that they are extreme or pornographic .
Trial Report: The acquittal of Simon Walsh at Kingston Crown Court
Unlike the Obscene Publication Act, which covers distribution, the CJIA shifts the burden on to individuals in possession of pornography. People need to know how to modify their behaviour in accordance with the law, yet it is unclear what acts
constitute extreme pornography .
As well as criminalising acts which are legal to perform, the CJIA would seemingly outlaw images which have been exhibited in art galleries. In 2008, the Barbican Gallery's Seduced exhibition included photographic images of male on male anal
fisting and male urethral insertion from artist Robert Mapplethorpe's X Portfolio. The gallery cleared them with the City of London police before the exhibition opened.
Police also regularly misclassify images they discover. In the Stafford extreme pornography trial, my client was initially charged with being in possession of over 1,250 extreme images. Upon viewing them, it became clear that over 900
were of clothed performers not engaging in any form of sexual activity. That defendant was eventually acquitted by a jury of all charges.
So, would you even know what material might be illegal? Have you been sent junk emails and not opened them? How much do you know about operating systems caching images attached to unopened emails?
Comment: Why the porn trial verdict is no reason to celebrate
Red faces over at the Crown Prosecution Service and the Metropolitan Police, as a jury took under three hours to clear former aide to London Mayor Boris Johnson , Simon Walsh of a string of charges brought under extreme porn laws. Indeed,
were Twitter an accurate reflection of the nation's views on a topic, Keir Starmer, Head of the CPS and all those involved in the prosecution would this afternoon be looking for new jobs: such has been the mix of disbelief and outrage that
public money and police time should be wasted on footling state attempts to interfere in the private lives of consenting adults.
The effect of this [extreme porn] law is pernicious. It doesn't seem to have done much to stem the tide of porn that so many politicians obsess about. It has given police and prosecution another stick with which to beat the unwary --- and to
punish them should they not be punishable for any other crime.
For all that this result has been embarrassing to the CPS, they continue to make progress on what is beginning to feel like a serious moral agenda at the heart of their practice. Calls for review of prosecuting practice have followed
swiftly. Ian Dunt, of politics.co.uk, thinks
it is time to look again at the culture within the CPS. Ben Goldacre wonders aloud
whether it is mere coincidence that a lawyer who has made a career of bringing corrupt police officers to book should be the target of such legal manoeuvring, also suggesting we need an inquiry into why CPS and police keep bring these
Comment: The shameful and nasty prosecution of Simon Walsh
It was a sensible jury decision, and one well-deserved by Walsh and his fine legal team.
But this is a matter which should never have got before a jury, for this was a shameful and nasty prosecution of a good man.
The law is bad to begin with. The offence in its entirety is dealt with over four sections of the relevant statute, and is perhaps the most complex as well as one of the most illiberal prohibitions in criminal law. However, the effect of the law
is stark: possession of certain extreme pornographic images of adults is a serious crime even if the acts portrayed are consensual or staged.
Comment: Reflections and future legal directions after #porntrial
Shit-play or sexual play incorporating excrement also characterised the fisting images and whilst the focus has been on injury, I always felt that the issue that might affect a jury more was that of disgust - a term utilised in the
Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, and part of the tests a jury must satisfy. Representing - quite literally - the dirty , the unclean , this was for me the issue that a jury might find the most difficult to comprehend, and
the most likely to cause discomfort.
Oh ye of little faith. The jury demonstrated - in a unanimous verdict - that they did not find such an image grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character (within the meaning of S63(6)(b)) and so whilst the focus has
been on fisting, I think the acceptance of scat images is just as - if not more - significant.
Today the Crown Prosecution Service will attempt to persuade a jury that images of anal fisting should be classified as extreme pornography
with the risk to the defendant of three years in custody, inclusion on the sex offenders' register and damage to his personal and professional standing. All for a type of image which is commonly viewed, of an activity which is itself is legal to
perform and is even discussed in the book Fifty Shades of Grey.
Nonetheless the defendant, Simon Walsh, has been charged with being in possession of extreme pornographic images under section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008: so the Prosecution must prove that the act of fisting is likely to result in serious injury to a person's anus
The Defendant, Simon Walsh, who is represented by my firm (Hodge Jones & Allen) has given his express permission for this information to be published.
Before being arrested and charged with these offences, Simon was a successful professional and politician in the City who, amongst other things, prosecuted police officers accused of disciplinary offences. After being charged, Simon lost both
professional and political positions, despite the fact that no pornography was found on any of his work computers. In fact, no pornography was found on Simon's home computers either.
Instead, the police had to interrogate Simon's personal email account (server) in order to discover a few images they deemed questionable. This included an image of a man wearing a gas mask. Their expert stated that this was likely to
cause serious harm, even death by asphyxiation: despite being a piece of equipment designed to assist breathing. This charge was eventually dropped.
Unfortunately, by performing the interrogation of Simon's email account in the fashion they did, the police contaminated the only source of evidence; making it impossible to identify whether images attached to emails had in fact been
opened and viewed.
A Police Community Support Officer has avoided a jail term after falling victim to the Dangerous Pictures Act.
Alan Rosser, who worked with the Lincolnshire Police Neighbourhood Policing Team in Caistor, was arrested in December 2010 after his home was searched.
Laura Pitman, persecuting, told Lincoln Crown Court that Rosser's computer was taken away and subsequent checks revealed almost 5,000 extreme pornographic pictures and videos:
That computer was examined and images of extreme pornography, involving adults and animals was discovered. He was subsequently interviewed and admitted he knew these images were on his computer.
Rosser admitted six charges of possessing extreme pornography on December 14, 2010. He was given a three-year community order with a three-month curfew. He was also ordered to attend a sex offenders' rehabilitation course and his computer was
Stephen Grattage, defending, said:
He was a PCSO for several years and was well regarded. He did a good job and always tried to keep himself within the law. He didn't realise that this was a criminal offence. He was very upset that he had crossed that line. It was an error on
And as if to emphasise that Rosser's tastes would have best been left a private matter, rather than adding another broken career to Britain's social security debt mountain:
The judge told Rosser: It is clear that you were highly thought of.
And the newspaper report added that Rosser, described as popular and hardworking, had been a PCSO since 2003 but quit his job after being charged and is now unemployed claiming Job Seekers' Allowance.
A victim of the Dangerous Pictures Act who was caught in possession of around 2,400 pornographic images has been placed on Supervision for
Judge John Warner made it a condition Robert Dunkley attends the Sex Offenders Group as he stressed, Some effort must be made to address your predeliction for this sort of sexual behaviour.
Dunkley, a man of previous good character, said he had downloaded the images and he admitted he was interested in bestiality. He pleaded guilty to possessing extreme pornography and he was further made the subject of a Sexual Offenders Protection Order
and told he must pay £ 1,200 costs.
The judge said Dunkley had already been punished by his admission to having the images which featured bestiality and it was clear he had also engaged in chatroom conversations about the subject. He told Dunkley:
Having these items is firmly against the law. Although you tried to delete them you weren't successful and there was always the risk someone else could come across them.
Havinderpal Dhami prosecuting said a visitor to Dunkley's home accessed his computer and after the images were found the police were notified.
Well this week it's all about sex again! And you really probably should ensure your children aren't in the back seats if you're listening in the car. Awkward questions might abound. Ben, Kirstin and regular contributor,
Jonathan Holt, talk with Alex Dymock once more following the verdict in the Southwark Obscene Publications Trial and are joined by Myles Jackman, one of Michael Peacock's defence team and journalist David Allen Green to discuss the merits of
repealing the 1959 Act and what this verdict means for future prosecutions.