Queerty is better as a member

Log in | Register
  CONSENTING ADULT

Former London Mayor Aide Found Not Guilty In Bizarre “Extreme Porn” Case

A gay former aide to London Mayor Boris Johnson was found not guilty of six counts of possession of “extreme pornography” on Wednesday.Barrister Simon Walsh was charged after emails containing bondage and S&M photos and an indecent picture of an allegedly underage model were discovered.

According to British law, “extreme pornography” depicts acts that are “grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise obscene and [show] an act which threatens a person’s life [or] which results, or is likely to result, in serious injury to a person’s anus, breasts or genitals.”

The images found on Walsh’s account included urethral sounding and fisting—which, though legal to perform, are illegal to depict realistically.

Another photo depicted a man in a gas mask—a situation the Crown said could be “life-threatening,” because of the risk of suffocation.

Walsh, 50, was fired from his position with the Mayor after his arrest. A guilty sentence would have come with a jail sentence of up to three years.

Admitting he used the account solely for sex, Walsh said he never requested or opened the email with an image of the supposedly underage performer. (With no proof, the prosecution contended “Jason” was 14, while several defense witnesses testified he was in his mid-twenties.)

The jury deliberated for barely an hour before rendering its “not guilty” verdict.

Reports the New Statesman:

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.

Even acts which are entirely legal, such as fisting or forms of BDSM, become the subject of the criminal law if they are portrayed “realistically.”

Was homophobia at play or was this just dirty politics to embarrass Mayor Johnson?

“The [Crown Prosecution Service] seems to be fixated with prosecuting representations of relatively common, private sexual acts between adult men,” said Alex Dymock of Backlash, a civil rights group that defends sexual expression.

Gay witch hunt or not, this case was ridiculously sex-negative. An email account for dirty pics and maybe hooking up? Who doesn’t have one of those?

It sounds like Britain is even more hung up about sex than we are.

 

 

By:           Dan Avery
On:           Aug 9, 2012
Tagged: , , , ,

  • 7 Comments
    • AS
      AS

      “Sounds like Britain is even more hung up about sex than we are”

      Utter rubbish, the fact they took barely a hour to come to find him not guilty shows they are progressive.

      Aug 9, 2012 at 8:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scribe37
      Scribe37

      @AS: He wouldn’t have been charged here for sounding and fisting pics, so he wouldn’t have lost his job I think was the point. It should have never went to a jury, not that I would be interested seeing or act in either act.

      Aug 9, 2012 at 9:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PTBoat
      PTBoat

      @AS: Actually, we have laws on the books that ban S&M pornography as well as just plain old porn, but they aren’t enforced. Something that Romney has promised the religious right wing is that he’ll heavily enforce pornography laws.

      Aug 9, 2012 at 9:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert in NYC
      Robert in NYC

      What people are missing is that there was an alledged underage boy in an email he says he didn’t open. Pornography involving underage boys or girls over the internet is also a felony here in the U.S. Many have been caught and sent to jail.

      No. 3. PTBoat, exactly right.

      Queerty, “It sounds like Britain is even more hung up about sex than we are.” Really? Have you ever watched network TV in the UK after 9 p.m? Full frontal nudity, explicit sexual scenes and language which wouldn’t even be allowed by the FCC on our own network stations. Instead, they are only allowed on pay premium channels and even some of them censor scenes. Stop making generalizations about something you know nothing about.

      Aug 9, 2012 at 2:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dvlaries
      dvlaries

      Probably a very nice man who wouldn’t hurt anybody, but maybe while working for Johnson made an enemy, someone with enough power to use the law as a bludgeon to try to ruin Walsh’s life. It’s happens here plenty, and is the best argument why bad laws should be off the books.

      Aug 9, 2012 at 5:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 4 · Robert in NYC wrote, “What people are missing is that there was an alledged underage boy in an email he says he didn’t open. Pornography involving underage boys or girls over the internet is also a felony here in the U.S.”

      While the age of the “boy” was disputed and there was no proof he was underaged, the defendant claimed he never opened the email and didn’t know it was there. Regardless, U.S. law is not the same as British law. Even in the U.S., it is realized that merely receiving email containing some illegal content should not be prosecuted – otherwise people would delete it rather than report it to the authorities.

      Aug 9, 2012 at 6:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • freddie
      freddie

      I have travelled a lot around the world and met a lot of different people. Believe me, no-one is more hung up on and uptight about sex than the Americans. Europeans (including Brits) are much freer in both their laws and attitudes toward sex.

      Aug 9, 2012 at 10:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

    Add your Comment

    Queerty now requires you to log in to comment

    Please log in to add your comment.

    Need an account? Register It's free and easy.

  • POPULAR ON QUEERTY

    FOLLOW US
     



    GET QUEERTY'S DAILY NEWSLETTER


    FROM AROUND THE WEB

    Copyright 2014 Queerty, Inc.
    Follow Queerty at Queerty.com, twitter.com/queerty and facebook.com/queerty.