Melon Farmers Original Version

Obscene Text

Writer prosecuted for text fantasy story


Offsite Article: Words of Caution...

Link Here16th October 2013
Full story: Obscene Text...Writer prosecuted for text fantasy story
Should activities that are illegal to perform in real-life, such as the distribution of Class A drugs, be illegal to write about in a fictional context where no actual harm is caused?

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5th July

 Offsite: Slash, Femslash and Popslash...

How to police popslash

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3rd July

 Offsite: Cleared of Obscenity But...

Another victim of an archaic law

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1st July

 Offsite: Thinking Out Aloud...

These obscenity laws should be abolished

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29th June

Update: Cleared of Obscenity...

Girls (Scream) Aloud sorry not obscene in terms of its likely audience

A former civil servant who wrote an internet article imagining the kidnap and murder of the pop group Girls Aloud has been cleared of obscenity.

Darryn Walker was charged under the Obscene Publications Act after the blog appeared on a fantasy writing site.

He appeared at Newcastle Crown Court, but was cleared on Monday. His defence argued that the article was not accessible, and could only be found by those looking for specific material.

Walker's 12-page blog - Girls (Scream) Aloud - was brought to the attention of police by the Internet Watch Foundation.

David Perry QC, prosecuting, said: A crucial aspect of the reasoning that led to the instigation of these proceedings was that the article in question, which was posted on the internet, was accessible to people who were particularly vulnerable - young people who were interested in a particular pop music group. It was this that distinguished this case from other material available on the internet. The CPS concluded, with the benefit of counsel's advice, there was a realistic prospect of conviction."

However, a report for the defence by an information technology expert said that it could only be discovered by internet users seeking such specific material.

A report from a consultant psychiatrist also said it was baseless to suggest that reading such material could turn other people into sexual predators.

Tim Owen QC, defending Walker, said : It was never his intention to frighten or intimidate the members of Girls Aloud. He had written what he had described as an adult celebrity parody and was only meant to be for an audience of like-minded people. As soon as he was aware of the upset and fuss that had been created, he took steps himself to take the article off the website. This type of writing is widely available on the internet in an unregulated and uncensored form. In terms of its alleged obscenity, it is frankly no better or worse than other articles.

The court heard that Walker had lost his job since his arrest.

Judge Esmond Faulks formally returned a not guilty verdict to the charge of publishing an obscene article.

Jo Glanville, editor of the freedom of expression group Index on Censorship, said the prosecution should not have been brought in the first place: Since the landmark obscenity cases of the '60s and '70s, writers have been protected from such prosecutions and have remained free to explore the extremes of human behaviour. This case posed a serious threat to that freedom. In future, obscenity cases should be referred directly to the Director of Public Prosecutions before any prosecution is triggered.


24th March

Update: Obscene Delay...

Barristers get involved in UK text obscenity trial

The obscenity trial of the writer of the short text story Girls (Scream) Aloud has been delayed.

At a directions hearing in January, the defendant made it known that given the seriousness of the case he would be represented by a barrister.

Not wishing to be out-gunned, the Crown Prosecution Service also gave notice of its intention to field a QC.

The trial is now set for five days in Newcastle Crown Court, starting on 29 June later this year.


23rd October

Update: You're Making It Up...

The Obscene Publications used against text story

A man from South Tyneside has appeared in court over a text story which detailed the kidnap, torture and murder of the pop group Girls Aloud.

Darryn Walker is accused of writing and posting the Girls (Scream) Aloud story on a sex stories site.

He is charged under the Obscene Publications Act.

No pleas were entered at the hearing at Newcastle Crown Court. A trial was set for 16 March.

Walker was granted unconditional bail until the trial.


7th October

 Offsite: For Crying Out Aloud...

The Obscene Publications Act rides again

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3rd October

Depraved Prosecution...

Writer prosecuted over fantasy story of the murder of Girls Aloud

A man who allegedly wrote an internet story imagining the kidnap and murder of pop group Girls Aloud is being prosecuted under obscenity laws.

The prosecution of Darryn Walker is regarded as a historic test case which could affect censorship of the internet.

Walker allegedly described the kidnap, mutilation, rape and murder of the girl band in a 12-page story posted on a fantasy website (or maybe on Usenet newsgroups). The story was headlined Girls (Scream) Aloud.

Experts are claiming the action is one of the most significant obscenity cases since the trial over the novel Lady Chatterley's Lover .

It is expected to be the first test of the law since pornography became easily available online and is one of the first involving the written word in recent years.

Scotland Yard's Obscene Publications Unit brought the case after discussions with the Crown Prosecution Service. It had been made aware of the story by The Internet Watch Foundation, which monitors illegal online content, which itself had been alerted last year.

The website where the blog was published is hosted abroad. But prosecution has been able to go ahead because the alleged author was identified as a UK citizen living in Britain.


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