back to article Extreme porn law on the ropes

A stunning reversal for police and prosecution in North Wales may herald the beginning of the end for controversial legislation on possession of extreme porn. The case, scheduled to be heard yesterday in Mold Crown Court, was the culmination of a year-long nightmare for Andrew Robert Holland, of Coedpoeth, Wrexham, Clwyd as …

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  1. Matthew 17

    accused of being a paedo, always a paedo

    With the horrible tabloid culture this country has adopted it doesn't matter that the whole thing was nonsense this poor chap's life will have been ruined.

  2. TimeMaster T

    Title

    Then I guess he should be glade he wasn't accused of being a pedo.

    But your right about this following him around for the rest of his life.

  3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Big Brother

    "seriously unpleasant application of sharp objects to genitals"

    Hopefully the genitals of assorted parliamentarians and ministers.

    Can we have that Tiger Clip on YouPorn now?

  4. scrubber Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    YouPorn?

    No, because it isn't porn!

  5. yoinkster
    Unhappy

    there is no justice.

    Anyone ever accused of anything anywhere should have an absolute right to anonymity until proven guilty. As with the case of the school caretaker whose life was ruined by a colleague trying to get him sacked, there needs to be something in law that secures peoples' personal lives. Maybe something like "innocent until proven guilty".

    I feel really sorry for this chap, being barred from his daughter and generally having his life ruined. Now he's been cleared he's just thrown out into the wilderness without so much of an apology and has to somehow try to piece his shattered life back together? Sounds like real justice to me :/

  6. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
    Boffin

    I wholeheartedly agree

    With the exception of your semantic slip-up. 'Innocent until proven guilty' implies guilt that only has to be proved. The correct phrase should be 'Innocent UNLESS proven guilty', in other words there is no guilt unless proven beyond doubt.

    This may seem like a subtle distinction, but it is the distinction between the state believing everyone to be guilty of something, and the state believing only the guilty to be guilty, as it were.

  7. Arclight

    Almost

    The government recently dropped plans to protect the names of accused, after complaints that it would stigmatise the alleged victims. So basically anyone can have their life totally ruined on the basis of a half-arsed accusation.

  8. serviceWithASmile
    Unhappy

    re: almost

    Much like a certain hunt for occult magical practitioners in days gone by.

    The more things change....

  9. I didn't do IT.
    Big Brother

    Re: Stigmatise victims?

    If the alleged victim's names are not published (as currently), how does that stigmatise them?

    Let's face it; if they don't have SOME ONE's name to publish, it just makes it difficult to turn the thing newsworthy... and we all know that if we aren't reminded ALL THE D@MN TIME about the sexual predator threat, people might just wonder if it really exists...

    Can't have people thinking for themselves, now, can we?

  10. JaitcH Silver badge
    WTF?

    Porn, like beauty depends on the eyes of the beholder

    One person's idea of porn is another's idea of art.

    Personally I would prefer someone indulging in their preferred home entertainment rather than seeking to practice it on an innocent victim.

    The problem is that Porn Plods have to justify their pay and they often have a narrow view of their calling, as do prosecutors. Has anyone actually linked porn to sexual attacks scientifically?

    Whenever Plod arrests some deviant they often trumpet they found pictures, too. Does an interest in graphics really suggest a predilection for assault?

    Do schoolboys with their well thumbed books of naked women, or men with pictures of well endowed naked females on locker doors really mean anything criminal will occur?

    I don't think so.

    Many years ago I was an electronics technician in a video duplicating company and between 12 midnight and 6 AM the 'dirty' tapes, and I mean extreme including bestiality, were dubbed 400 at a time and most of the crew amused themselves by sleeping for an hour or so between tape changes. I must admit on occasion even we were surprised by the screen action but none of the crew were ever charged with a sexual offence.

  11. David 105
    Joke

    No Title Required

    "Has anyone actually linked porn to sexual attacks scientifically?"

    I think it was the same study that linked playing violent video games to violent crime

  12. scrubber Silver badge
    Flame

    The Missing Link

    Every adult ever convicted of a sexual assault had porn.

    There you go, that proves it. 100%.

    What do you mean everyone has porn? What's that got to do with anything? We're the government and don't need to know about statistics, evidence or proof.

  13. Alexis Vallance
    FAIL

    WTF?

    How come the CPS and police are wasting time on stuff like this?

    My mate's bike was stolen on Sunday and saw it advertised on Gumtree. The police couldn't have had an easier crime to solve, yet they did fuc* all apart from send a letter commiserating him for his emotional turmoil.

  14. Semaj
    Big Brother

    a

    Stolen bike recovery means sending someone round, gaining evidence, filling in all that boring paperwork for a crime that the papers don't care about.

    If a police force can say to the tabloid trash "look we stopped these deviants from corrupting your angelic little children" then they get some good publicity and are likely to have the press on their side when their funding is to be cut.

    The trouble all stems from the press creating moral outrage over sex when it's really not that big of a deal.

  15. scrubber Silver badge
    Joke

    Not a big deal?

    Sex, like air, is only not that big of a deal when you have enough of it.

  16. LaeMing
    Happy

    which probably says heaps...

    ...about the sex lives of the average tabloid reader.

  17. Jamie Kitson

    Compensation?

    Is there any chance he can sue?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    hope he

    nails their balls to the floor

  19. DrunkenMessiah
    Stop

    Re: hope he

    Just don't record it!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Bad taste in jokes/friends

    They're Grrrreat!

  21. Avatar of They
    Flame

    CPS should be ashamed

    Bet they get off scott free. Leaving it to the day of trial before deciding not to bother.

    Insert favorite swear word of choice here -> <-

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Not always...

    The CPS don't always get off scott free... A case I was involved in at crown court got thrown out after the CPS appeared before the judge four times without their witnesses even bothering to turn up (police officers no less) or, finally, ANY evidence. The judge, thoroughly annoyed by the wasting of his, and the courts time, threw the case out AND fined the CPS £20,000!

    True story!

  23. Apocalypse Later

    Fined the CPS?

    Hardly. He actually fined the taxpayer, which is to say you, me, and the accused.

  24. Tom 35 Silver badge

    But they are not...

    They knew that this was not a slam dunk like other cases were it was just an add-on charge to a real crime.

    If it got tossed out of court they would look bad, and it could make people see what a crap law it is so much better to run away. The guy was already punished (worse then a lot of people who get convicted of more everyday crimes like robbery or assault) and they still have the law to use the next time they don't like someone.

  25. LaeMing

    Sounds rather like contempt of court too.

    Courts need to throw that one at more people wasting the court's time with frivolous charges/suits.

  26. lglethal Silver badge
    FAIL

    I hope he sues the CPS...

    ... If the CPS are not willing to defend their position despite having placed onerous restrictions on the defendent (not being able to see your daughter is pretty friggin onerous in my book) then surely he could sue under some sort of Malicious Prosecution and/or Slander/Libel laws...

    A significant pay out for destroying a mans life might make the CPS a little less prone to destroying people's lives for the hell of it!

  27. Wallyb132
    FAIL

    The problem with that is...

    The way i see that going is, the CPS would probably just refile the criminal case in an effort to defend against the civil suit.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Charge the CPS...

    So the CPS decided on the day, that they didnt have enough evidence.

    How many police offers, support workers, court officials, jurors did they have hanging around.

    I'd have though there was good ground for a public prosecution of wasting police time.

    Clearly CPS have got into the mentality 'no one's going to want to drag out a pedo court case, they'll just plead guilty, easy clear up rate statistic lads.. 'pub?'

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My head hurts thinking about that!

    So you'd like the CPS to be charged with wasting police time? Who, pray tell, would prosecute them, the CPS?

    The CPS don't need to be prosecuted, they can be, and do get, fined by judges (see another of my AC comments a few posts up!)

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A part of the problem

    I was once told, in the early days of the CPS, that they didn't have many experienced staff, and cases were being dropped at the last minute, when a lawyer with some experience was assigned the job of appearing in court.

    Goodness, that must have been longer ago than I thought.I would have thought they would know better by now.

  31. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    @AC

    Three options:

    1) Set up an "internal investigations" style prosecution service within the CPS whose sole job is to sue members of the government. (Including members of the CPS).

    2) Set up an entire government department whose job is to provide legal oversight to other government departments. Similar to option 1, the advantage to this option is that instead of an "internal affairs" division, this department would have no official or unofficial ties to the CPS.

    3) Make use of the other, already extant prosecution service the government already pays for. The military has its own court system with defence and prosecution solicitors already on the taxpayer's dime. In Canada, when we need to run investigations against municipal police we call in the RCMP (federal police). If we need to investigate the RCMP we may call in police from some of the municipal forces. Why not a similar arrangement for prosecution between the country’s military judiciary and the civilian one?

  32. Intractable Potsherd

    @AC 6th August 2010 23:58

    Just out of curiosity I once went to talk to the recruiters for the CPS at a law fair when I was a student. The look in the guy's face when I told him that I was from one of the better law schools, projected to get a good degree, showed that I had some idea of the law and the implications of some elements of criminal law, and also had some experience of life outside the law was one of utter joy! He stated that, if I went to work for them, I'd be at a managerial level inside two years. I therefore decided that it was just another one of those governmental bodies where any ability is removed rapidly from the sharp end and buried in managerial crap. I doubt that has changed. In all likelihood, the CPS have no decent lawyers at all. The one's doing the work are probably those with lower-classification degrees from second-rate law schools who would have difficulty getting positions anywhere else.

  33. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    So when someone actually *contests* the CPS on this

    If runs away, demonstrating they are being *prudent* with taxpayers money.

    OTOH a more prudent use of the taxpayers money would be *not* bringing charges under stupid laws in the first place.

    Thumbs up for the man keeping his nerve and not backing down. True freedom fighters come in many shapes and sizes (and degrees of reluctance). this one *should* be another for the scrap heap of redundant (in the sense that it' already covered elsewhere *if* needed anyway) and unworkable laws.

    How much money did CPS spunk away on this case?*

    *I think that is the proper legal term for the misapplication of taxpayer funds.

  34. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
    Joke

    Sir

    "How much money did CPS spunk away on this case?*"

    Sounds a bit extreme to me, especially if the case was made of animal skin! perhaps we should take a fishing trip on _their_ computers.

  35. Eden
    WTF?

    Denied access to his Daughter

    Are you kidding me? he was denied access to his own daughter througout all of this on such a blatantly STUPID case?

    I hope he has serious grounds to sue the hell out of them and I don't normally advocate the Sue everyone culture but If I was sent a joke mail and then denied access to my girl for any period of time, especially this long, I'd be ready to rip off heads!

  36. Lionel Baden

    Fully agree

    I would go absolute apeshit if i couldnt see my kids either !!!!

    but i can understand why the situation exists in relation to any sex abuse case.

    Again all could of been resolved with common sense

  37. Greg J Preece

    Exactafuckingmundo!

    "Due to the sexual nature of the case, he has been barred from contact with his daughter since the case began"

    That's a bit of a logical leap! Man may enjoy porn involving sharp objects == man will abuse his daughter??

    Someone wants a slap for that one.

  38. neb
    Flame

    @Eden

    apparantly he's only just been allowed to buy a box of frosties FFS

    i'm being flippant because i am still bemused by the cuntishness of our lords and muppets in plod/cps land

    hope he gets his life back & the twathook who gave the 'tip off' gets a good fucking shoeing

    feel free to edit out the swearing, but i'm quite vexed you know

  39. I didn't do IT.
    Unhappy

    Re: The Tipster

    Odds are really, really good that either (a) the ex-wife or (b) her boyfriend (current or last weeks' ex) was the one that gave the anonymous tip.

    As a single dad with only visitation, I know how "inconvenient" it is for the custodial parent if some guy she shacked up with to drop a sprog and get the welfare bonus tries to be a responsible part of the kids' lives. "Why can't he just pay up his £100 per week and sod off?" is a mantra from these women...

  40. proto-robbie
    Megaphone

    The irony is...

    ... that had he actually committed incest, he might not be isolated from his children - I know of such a case happening recently. This poor guy's obviously more of a threat because he has an email account and tasteless friends. And why didn't they get done for the same offence?

  41. Piers
    Stop

    Thought Police

    ...have arrived. And you get punished, even if you don't get 'convicted'.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Exterme porn laws

    what next, illegal to have a w*nk.

    Stupid F*king basterds!

    Get everyone in CPS involved in this case and beat the living daylights out of them. Disgusting scum!

  43. Semaj
    Big Brother

    a

    Indeed that is next on the agenda.

    Studies have shown that paedophiles utilize their own minds to create perverted thoughts known as "fantasies" in which they rape children! Therefore every man will soon be required to read a copy of the tabloid newspaper of their choice if engaging their carnal desires. This will ensure a block on all thought.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well..

    ..you are already censuring yourself. So why not let government do it for you?

  45. LaeMing
    Boffin

    Doesn't abstinence from ejeculation...

    ...significantly increase the risk of prostate cancer in men? Banning wanking could cause a serious load on the future health-care system!

    Besides, what would the professional wankers in the government do all day.

  46. Bunglebear
    Thumb Down

    Blame the instigator

    The CPS get a lot of stick here (and it is well deserved) but we mustn't forget why they could even prosecute in the first place - the law was brought in by the 70s feminist dinosaurs Harriet Harman and Jacqui Smith as part of the previous government. It was a ridiculous law from a ridiculous home secretary and has been shown, is completely unenforceable.

    My knowledge of legislation is limited, but can this law be redacted?

  47. Tony S

    Terminolgy

    Laws are repealed - and yes it could be repealed or amended.

    Redacting is what they do to documents that by law they have to let you see, but they don't want you to read.

  48. Falanx
    Grenade

    We *are* blaming them

    The stick they receive is rightfully deserved on all and every account. They choose which prosecutions to proceed with, and the buck stops *there*.

    This is the same bunch of spineless, fascist s$%tweasels that chose *not* to prosecute in the case of the murderer of Ian Tomlinson. Or the attackers of Mark Aspinall and Nicola Fisher. And who didn't even notice when Jen Charles de Menenzes was assassinated in a tube station.. or...

    You get the picture.

  49. Graham Marsden

    can this law be redacted?

    No, because that means deleting bits before publication, however it can be repealed.

    We need *EVERYONE* to visit the Government's "Your Freedom" site and support the following:

    http://yourfreedom.hmg.gov.uk/restoring-civil-liberties/repeal-section-63-of-the-cjia-2008-extreme-porn

    http://yourfreedom.hmg.gov.uk/restoring-civil-liberties/consensual-bdsm-activities-should-not-be-a-criminal-offence

    http://yourfreedom.hmg.gov.uk/repealing-unnecessary-laws/ban-all-laws-controlling-the-sexual-activities-of-consenting-adults

    NB there are several variations on these, I've picked the ones which have the most votes, but if you search on Pornography or BDSM you can find others to support too (and several worth writing comments in opposition to)

    Once you've done that, visit http://www.writetothem.com and find the contact details of your MP and make your points to them as well otherwise we risk the Your Freedom site becoming just another "fob them off" exercise so beloved of the last administration.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think

    I think the Americans invented it. We used to be content with a simple "Deleted" or a more honest "censored"

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