UK Duo Convicted of Mere Possession of Pornographic Images

Two men in the United Kingdom were sentenced to a £500 fine and a two year suspended sentence for possession of “disturbing” pornographic images. The images were described as “extreme pornographic image[s] likely to cause injury,” and “pornographic images involving animals.” (source)

The men claimed that they did not view the pornography, nor did they seek it out, but that the videos were sent to them via WhatsApp. When your receive a video or an image from that (or other messaging services) it often gets automatically added to a smartphone’s camera roll. The men were unaware of this fact, and carried the porn around for months before getting caught with it.

2 Responses to UK Duo Convicted of Mere Possession of Pornographic Images

  1. CPlatt says:

    A gay man who wrote a serious and heartfelt poem about giving oral sex to Jesus was convicted of . . . blasphemy, In 1977 in the UK. I mean, they had to get him with *something*. The poem was published in Gay News. The case is mentioned here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blasphemy_law_in_the_United_Kingdom

    The root of the problem is that England does not have a constitution. It’s all a matter of precedent, and when the Gay News case found its way to the House of Lords (which does dual duty as a supreme court … just imagine the Senate playing that role in the US) they affirmed the conviction, and the poet went to jail.

    My scurrilous book “The Gas” was seized by the Director of Public Prosecutions in the UK in the 1970s, but charges were never filed, possibly because my publisher took the precaution of adding a “serious” introduction about the “literary value” of the work. This had annoyed me at the time because I didn’t want to make any excuses about “literary value.” I wanted the book to be irredeemably crude and badly written. But, in the end I guess it was just as well. I don’t know if the UK could have extradited me from the US for violating the UK Obscene Publications Act.

  2. spodula says:

    Actually, this stupidity is due to that in the UK, possession of dodgy child images is a strict liability offense (IE. Excuses don’t matter). I seem to remember it was made that way because to many. people were getting released because they were using the “My computer was hacked and used as a repository” excuse for the previous incarnation. and as this is a Criminal offense, were falling below the “Beyond reasonable doubt” measure.

    Also, the House of Lords’ judicial role was removed in 2009. We now have a separate Supreme court. Its true that all its members are technically Lords, however, its basically impossible to become a senior member of the Judiciary in the UK while dodging a title. It comes with a lot of judicial roles.

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