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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well

I was enjoying a good hearty wank, but now I hear that the Tiger speaks I can't possibly continue to masturbate.

absolute idiocy, the police and CPS look like clowns once more......and then we let these numpties have guns, tasters and batons >.<

/facepalm

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Anonymous Coward

Re:what next, illegal to have a w*nk

I guess that depends on where you are while you're having it......in the middle of a church or the girls changing room at a school are two places I can think of where you might get a telling off....

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Silver badge

@Re: what next, illegal to have a w*nk

Bouncing up and down in your back garden on a trampoline at 5am is also frowned upon.

*For the hard of remembering: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/07/30/naked_trampoline/

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Joke

re: re:what next, illegal to have a w*nk

If it's in a church then there's going to be a lot of male frock wearers arrested, just in time for their leaders visit to the UK..........

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FAIL

titular one

For the hard of comprehension, follow the links in that article.

The guy was in a communal (i.e not private) area not his private garden, and the trampoline wasn't even his. It belonged to a neighbours child.

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Big Brother

It's a start, but...

...God knows, there's a long road to travel before we can, as a society, begin to call ourselves 'fair and just' with regards to issues of censorship and police heavy-handedness. It was a creeping malaise, which then turned into a virulent strain of moral panic which has gone on to create a devastating trail of misery up and down the UK. And people wonder why the prisons here are bursting at the seams.

Lives have been ruined and the police quietly empowered to assume the role of thought police, kicking in our doors in the dead of night to steal our computers and expose every one of us before our peers as criminals (or worse) for looking at pictures that just a few years ago nobody would have given a second thought to.

All in the name of the children, of course. It's amazing what you can get away with, when you prefix every bad law and ill-judged arrest with such a base sentiment.

One day these uniformed bullies will be held to account. But don't hold your breath. There isn't a man-jack amongst the current crop of Parliamentarians with the balls to stand up to the likes of Jim Gamble (very vocal in the call for the laws on 'extreme' and 'cartoon' pr0n) and call him out on his judgment. For the moment these people are safe within the structures they've so carefully erected around themselves (at great public expense).

But in the end, every empire has to fall, right..?

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Anonymous Coward

The cost of tyranny

The looming threat of budget cuts may let us argue about whether or not these things are worthwhile, although not everything Jim Gamble controls is worthless, and the arguments aboiut just where to save money will be vitriolic.

But just take the child porn law as an example. It now covers pictures of people who are old enough to lawfully marry and bonk their brains out. I'm not going to try and deny that it would be bad to allow under-18s into the porn industry, but the method which has been chosen is a crude and inappropriate blunt instrument.

It might be that all it needs is for a judge to rule that you need a legal contract with the performers, and the parental consent needed for under-18 marriage is not sufficient for this purpose.

No, I doubt it's that simple.

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Coat

Double standards eh?

How come, in cases where suspected pedo activity has taken place, no-one quips "won't anyone think of the children..."?

Well, yes, as it turns out :)

The one with the tar & feather remover please.....

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axe the CPS

that's what I say....

surely the coalition government could save a bundle of cash by getting rid of this bunch of idiots. utter utter timewasting, hypocritical, unethical twats.

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Anonymous Coward

Saddest thing about this case...

The saddest thing about this case is that a father has lost contact with his daughter through all of this - and for no good reason at all.

Those who have caused this should be put through the same amount of pain as this guy has gone through - except, of course, they won't because of who they are.

I hope this guy (and his daughter) manage to overcome this and wish them the best of luck in doing so.

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Anonymous Coward

Solicitors should carry a Health Warning.

I see that this gentleman was advised by his previous solicitors to plead Guilty. He then found a solicitor with a brain who gave him proper advice to plead NOT Guilty. I say this because I have been "shafted" (no not literally that WOULD be extreme) by many solicitors in civil matters and can safely say that 99% of them are absolute crap (opps cant say "crap" its against the law, isnt it ?). I how have an )Order made against me for LIFE (yes a lifetime) because I upset the police.

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Hypocritical oafs.

They collared (arf!) someone a few weeks ago actually shagging a dog and let them off with a slap on the wrist. Then they chase this guy all the way to court before deciding to let common sense prevail.

I wonder if the defence would have raised the outcome of the other case in their defence as it hardly seems logical to lock someone up for being sent an email joke of the activity that someone actually doing it walks away from o_O. Surly some lawyer would be able to use that as an example in court.

Lets hope this porn law and a bunch of other stupid laws get binned.

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FAIL

The sickest thing in the world is not any form of porn, but.

The legislators that think they have the RIGHT to decide what consenting adults can and cannot do or see.

If someone is forced into something, or something is harmed by the act, then charge the person doing the abuse - rape, child abuse, animal abuse or what ever, we already have ample laws (In all countries) to handle these situations.

But some sick individuals in governments, churches, and so forth think they have the right to control what consenting adults think, and do with each other. This is what should be illegal.

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I'm more disgusted...

by this fella being seperated from his daughter, than the idea of him having a wangle over a video of a tiger.

Maybe it's just me though, I am from Norfolk

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Free Legal Aid

That's the problem with free legal aid.

When I got on a bus about a decade ago and asked for, and paid for an adult ticket, the driver pushed the wrong button and pinted a child ticket.

Long story short ended up in court over it!, I was told I was not entitled to free legal aid as I was employed and on consulting a solicitor was told don't bother plead guilty.

Got a 10 year criminal record (only just expired) and a £1,000 fine which for a boy of 17 having just got his first job (on a trial period) you can imagine that was crippling.

Almost lost my job over it as well as the criminal record technically meant I wasn't elligable for the job I was doing and wouldn't be allowed to carry on after the trial period.

Luckily my boss heard the details and I was informed that after he stopped laughing over it, informed me that the company (KPMG) has a very very large legal department that would have torn london transport AND the idiots that told me I was not entitled to free legal aid a new one had I of just asked....and gave me the job anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

Still a bit unresolved though?

Been following this story since it was first covered here, good work The Register. The result makes me angry though for another reason.

Mr Holland did not really get his day in court. In the same way that if a rapist is allowed to walk through lack of evidence, people may still assume he is a rapist who just got off on a technicality. I hope this is not the same for Mr Holland. I would have much preferred if the case had gone to a jury and they had laughed the case out since the law it is based on is crazy. Both this and the cartoon law

The way the case has been left (to my layman legal mind) is that if someone else was to be in possession of the same clips they may end up in court whereas if a jury had ruled then you could watch them?

Anyway if you really hate this law register your displeasure at http://yourfreedom.hmg.gov.uk/. I would also encourage Mr Holland to post his personal story there.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Still a bit unresolved though?

Nothing posted on Your Freedom will be taken seriously. Write to your MP instead.

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neb
Grenade

@Re: Still a bit unresolved though?

just make sure its written in permanent marker on a housebrick

and lob it through their front window

only way they'll bloody notice IMHO

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A bit extreme...

In my experience, a polite and well-reasoned letter to an MP does have more effect than petitions and such, It shows you care enough to make the effort. It doesn't need to be a masterpiece of literary craft. A physical letter on paper is the best for this.

But sometimes your idea is a temptation. It's a temptation better denied, violence is the first resort of the incoherent, but if somebody wanted to organise a demonstration against police photography of political meetings, the Guy Fawkes masks might be worth using.

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careful neb

that statement is probably quite dangerous in these sad litigious times.

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a

I've written to my MP on several occasions and not once has he taken any action. I've been fobbed off each time.

At least with the yourfreedom type sites the word is actually out in the open for others to read rather than in the MP's litter bin.

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Badgers

Oh, Scotland..

Extreme porn - bad.

Terrorists who blow up airliners - good.

That about sums it up...

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WTF?

Scotland?

You might want to check a map - it turns out Scotland and Wales are actually different places...

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FAIL

Sir

And perhaps you ought to try and understand the original post..

"21 Jul 2010 ... <b>Scottish</b> Secretary Michael Moore tells MPs the release of the Lockerbie bomber was based on the medical information available.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-10716229"

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WTF?

WTF?!

"Due to the sexual nature of the case, he has been barred from contact with his daughter since the case began and he is now determined to re-establish contact. "

What. The. Fuck. For having >2< porn clips on his computer.

Half the UK population have porn on their computer somewhere. (Mostly the male half -- natch) So lets break up all parent-child relationships for completely irrational reasons.

God I hope he has some course of legal recourse on this.

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WTF?

Maybe it's because I'm not british, but...

...he was never convicted of anything whatsoever. He wasn't even tried, it seems. So on what basis is he being kept from his daughter? Presumably the order was initially put through due to the pending charges - but now that the charges are no longer pending... the order still stands? Indefinitely?

What The Fuck indeed...

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Not only

a British thing, old bean:

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/calgary/story/2010/07/29/calgary-custody-oregon-boy-fight-court-battle-costs.html?ref=rss

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You dont realize how far it's gone ...

... till you get out of the country. We've been at the beach these last few days. Every now and then while we are kicking a football to each other local kids come up and stand politely nearby hoping they can join in the game.

They don't realize we're Brits, and our attitude is more like 'Get lost, you little sods - are you trying to have us arrested?'

Seriously, things are pretty screwed up right now.

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FAIL

... A Tiger... In Africa?...

I can get the dog & girl thing (through a personal experience of finding an ex and the family labrador en flagrente delicto) and the horse & girl thing (go Romans) - but seriously, anything human with a tiger... im sorry just not happening - it would either shred the poor girl the minute she went for anything - or she'd end up in A&E (ER - for american readers) since all male cats have large spikes on their bits in order to drop the not too casual hint that its time for the female to ovulate... (and you thought him leaving the toilet seat up was bad...)

What adults choose to do to themselves or consenting others in private is their own affair - not to mention the 2G1C video - which did the rounds mainly so people could record other people cringing and post it on you-twat. Finally this thing has been shot down - but the point is that society at large should have never allowed it to be passed in the first place - I will accept that government has a place in road safety and such - but it has NO place in what I choose to do sexually or with whom... (The guy who stuck his tadger in a hot Austin Metro exhaust is somewhat ambiguous however - more to the point - if you are gonna do it with something that has 4 wheels, at least have some taste for heavens sake!)

Ironic isnt it that the people who will probably kill this law stone dead - are the very party who had the old 'back to basics' fiasco when everywhere poor John Major looked a member of his party was either at it, denying he was at it, or found dead in the attempt to be at in in very curious waders with a orange shoved in his mouth/butt/dont ask *delete as applicable.

I have had the joys of dealing with social services recently and it strikes me as interesting that there is something called gillett competancy - which means a 8 year old can decide whether he/she wants life saving surgery or not - or decide pretty much anything else about his/her life yet is deemed to be a-gendered and asexual until at 00:00 on their 16th birthday they suddenly get a sexuality & gender identity like someone installed a new ROM image...

This society seriously needs to sort out its treatment of children - because if it doesnt, things are just going to get worse with potentially normal kids turned into abuse 'victims' or worse simply because they have no idea and no training in the reality of relationships & sexuality

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Happy

@Jemma

"since all male cats have large spikes on their bits in order to drop the not too casual hint that its time for the female to ovulate... (and you thought him leaving the toilet seat up was bad...)"

Forgot about that bit of moggy physiology. The proportionately sized one on a tiger would probably eye watering.

"but it has NO place in what I choose to do sexually or with whom... "

It's been going on for a *long* time in the UK. You might like to look up details of "Operation Spanner," a raid by Yorkshire policemen of a *private* party involving a lot of (consensual) gay S&M. The current administration seem *slightly* more sensible in their attitudes.

"Ironic isn't it that the people who will probably kill this law stone dead "

It's *not* dead yet, the CPS have merely turned and run. They've not had to actually fight a case so of course they can claim "We have not lost a case on it. We decided to withdraw to save taxpayers money etc."

"old 'back to basics' fiasco when everywhere poor John Major looked a member of his party was either at it, denying he was at it, or found dead in the attempt to be at in in very curious waders with a orange shoved in his mouth/butt/dont ask *delete as applicable."

As it turned out he was also knobbing Edwina Currie at the time (according to her autobiography. No doubt the Spitting Image storyline of him having an unrequited passion for unwed single mother and front bench Minister Virgina Bottomley gave them both a good laugh).

"yet is deemed to be a-gendered and asexual until at 00:00 on their 16th birthday they suddenly get a sexuality & gender identity like someone installed a new ROM image.."

Not a view shared in the teaching profession, who are very well aware that some children have a *very* well developed understanding of sexuality substantially before 16 (to the point where such children are *never* seen alone by a member of staff).

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Few Comments

1. The saga began last summer when, following a tip-off, police raided Holland's home looking for indecent images of children.

Did the rozzers then follow-up on the clearly malicioius so-called tip-off? It would not take much thought to produce a short-list of one suspect here. Did they my arse? Doing someone for wasting police team would clearly involve them doing some work. Public servant =

Do Forever

Scratch Arse

Apply Ointment to Sore Arse

End Do

2. Jackman, a solicitor specialising in extreme pornography offences, ...

How do you develop such a specialisation?

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Stop

crazy

If the video is the problem, why aren't the people who made the video the criminals?

It's a complete reversal of justice. Much like you are a criminal if you injure someone while he breaks into your house. Far better to just leave him to it while the police drive to your house at 5 miles an hour. Then when they get there too late they'll leave and drive 120 miles an hour back to the station and kill an innocent pedestrian and get away with it.

...Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves...

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Unhappy

Does anybody know

to whether this guy's access to his daughter has been (a) restored ipso facto upon acquittal (b) restored after a separate hearing with the antisocial workers? (c) refused by said antisocial workers.

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Martin Salter hall of shame

Harman and Smith yes, but chief among the originators of this particularly poor-quality piece of legislation, as I recall, was Martin Salter MP, one of the most literal-minded men, who one might argue found the grief of a bereaved mum quite handy for his own grandstanding political career, against what he presumably thought a safe and uncontroversial target. Would the good burghers of whatever shire he claims to represent please get rid of him, if they haven't already, next opportunity?

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Happy

@Paul 176

Salter was MP for Reading West. Despite a 4000+ majority he lost his seat in 2010.

He lost to Alok Sharma who took the seat with a 6000+ majority.

However you can bet he will be skulking about the constituency waiting for 2015 and/or the next prosecution under his deformed brain child.

Remember tthis would not have been possible without some fairly "sympathetic" civil servants.

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FAIL

Nu Labour = Thought Police

Another example of why idiotic badly thought out (cough extreme terror pr0n /cough) laws need to be repealed if the current Government agrees that they are not in the public interest.

Case in point, pretty much everyone who owns a smartphone has had "illegal" material on it at some point, does this make them guilty? Yes, even though common sense would dictate that viewing something you got sent (innocently) going OMGWTFand deleting it should not make you guilty of anything despite what the Thought Police dictate from on high.

This is why there needs to be a mechanism in place where if illegal material is found in very small quantities (say one file that is present on many random sampled devices consistent with indiscriminate forwarding) no further action is taken, consistent with the "background noise" argument.

AC, but if anyone asks I use an optical delay line to store my encryption keys...

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Anonymous Coward

If you want

an example of police-think, read this website......

http://inspectorgadget.wordpress.com/

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Coat

Mental Age

Mental Age of "authority" in UK these days: about 11.

They probably don't understand jokes.

mines the one with the passport in the pocket.

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Paris Hilton

Where's the right to speedy trial here?

A year, on these charges and with that evidence research needed? How does that satisfy the sixth amendment to the Constitu... oh, right.

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FAIL

He may be innocent in the eyes of the court

But I can give you odds of 100/1 he won't be getting access to his daughter anytime soon.

Social services will be too scared & overworked to take the 'risk'

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Gold badge
Flame

You'd think these people did'nt have *real* crimes to prosecute

Oh wait *real* criminals tend to be able to afford real lawyers.

Who can convince a jury their clients are not guilty.

Wouldn't want to lower our success rates, would we?

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Justice.....or not?

It's rather telling that numerous comments have related to a 'paedo' case when this was nothing of the sort. Both images were of adults and the only charges were related to adult extreme porn.

Rather supports my belief that all defendants in sexual cases should be anonymous. The papers can still report the case if they really want to (their excuse for not supporting anonymity is 'open justice') but without being able to vilify a named person they will likely not bother. If they truly cared about open justice the local papers would report all cases, not just the 'juicy' ones they can sell on to the tabs.

I've always believed that the reason the great unwashed have such a skewed image of 'perverts' is because the vast majority of abuse goes on in families, where the papers cannot produce a named 'demon' for their readers to hate because of the existing laws on identifying the victim. Whereas the people who sit on their own in front of a computer "typing with one hand/insert favourite euphemism of your own here" can be splashed (arf) all over the front page

with no come back (arf arf).

In my (recent) personal experience its often the police that push these charges through at first, cajoling the CPS into saying yes to letting them charge (the police normally lay the charges at a police station initially). Then at some point (often depressingly far down the line and near to trial) the CPS actually read the paperwork and realise there isn't a case, so they quietly withdraw. By which time the 'facts' have often been reported in the local press (and sometimes the tabloids)

Maybe a system that requires the police officer involved in every case where the CPS drop out to explain themselves to the court would make them think more carefully about decisions that can ruin people's lives. Or maybe employing people who give a toss about the consequences of their actions would be a better start....

Personally I hope the guy in this article sues the arse off the Police for malicious prosecution (though perhaps he should not take a picture of him doing so in case it is deemed illegal!!)

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Happy

@gonzo999

"In my (recent) personal experience its often the police that push these charges through at first, cajoling the CPS into saying yes to letting them charge (the police normally lay the charges at a police station initially). Then at some point (often depressingly far down the line and near to trial) the CPS actually read the paperwork and realise there isn't a case, so they quietly withdraw. "

Historically police officers in the UK were able to *mount* a prosecution on behalf of their forces. There was a perception that this lead to too many weak cases being tried which were a wast of court time (Sound familiar?)

Hence the setting up of the CPS

Doesn't look like the CPS has achieved one of its *stated* goals. Plod still managing to con-vince the CPS "He's a wrong un, and we got rock solid evidence that will bury him." The "Tony the tiger" video should have convinced them not to touch it with the dirty end of a long stick.

I think the title is optimistic. This law needs a few cases when some QC gets on their hind legs for the CPS and tries to sell it to a jury confronting a QC who knows what they are doing.

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The deeper issue

is who gave the plod the tip off with regard to child porn?

My bet is that he has been involved in child custody/access stuff in the family courts and someone decided the best way to not allow him access was to make the allegation.

He needs to make a complaint to the police that the initial allegation was malicious and if he was engaged in family court proceedings then the making of the malicious allegation becomes an offence of witness intimidation as well.

As for the issue over not seeing his daughter, thats a standard bail condition and very hard to overturn, hence why its used to such good effect by women who make false criminal allegations.

As for the CPS, bunch of incompetents as was his defence lawyer for the guilty plea as well.

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Big Brother

But who will police the police

It's not only you Brits. Our gov (Australia) is at least just as bad, if not worse.

The problem is who will police the police. Solving real crime is in that "too hard" bucket. However, locking up innocent people is easy, and best of all, most people cannot even challenge it.

Under our great anti-terrorist law, even report someone been arrested and charged IS A CRIME by itself. You got lucky there.

Thought Police - check

Telescreen - check (aka CCTV)

The only thing missing is Minilove

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Yoinster-100% right.

This law is pointless-pure control freakery of the highest, moralist and panic monger induced order.

An umbrella law thats a great excuse for having a pop at people. Thought up by idiots in response to twats, enforced moronically.

I hope it dies a death and fast. Waste of resources in every single possible way.

It also takes away attention and time from searching for the genuine danger-the sources of childporn. THOSE should be the only real focus for porn police-the evil f**kers who MAKE childporn.

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Silver badge
Big Brother

Innocent unless proven guilty....

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

What makes you think he wasn't? He was. He was denied access to his daughter for over a year whilst this farce of an investigation was carried out. That means someone in so-called 'authority' believed he might be some kind of threat to the daughter. That carries an implicit accusation doesn't it? If he'd been banned from driving for the investigatory period wouldn't that have raised a few eyebrows? Or how about being banned from pubs? or the zoo? or Mars? All these responses are about as logical.

He should approach the European Court of Human Rights, as there is a clear breach of the "Sanctity of family life" clause involved here.

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WTF?

Having sex with a tiger

Really?? Honestly??!

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