Chatting sex usa not registration
This focus was picked upon by barrister Roger Daniells-Smith, who in an early appearance on behalf of GS reportedly told the court: "We say this is a moral crusade by Kent Police to extend the law, to try to get this material included as extreme pornography." Kent Police reject this.
They told us: "The only crusade Kent Police is on is to protect children from abuse including sexual exploitation. closes one door where people that would abuse children share and indulge in their fantasies online without the use of images, and prior to now have felt beyond the reach of the law in doing so." A spokeswoman for the Crown Prosecution Service explained: "The ruling reinforces the interpretation of 'persons' to include one person".
The OPA, broadly, does not criminalise any specific words or depictions.
Rather, it leaves it up to a jury to decide what will tend to "deprave or corrupt" - which over the years has meant NOT finding obscene Lady Chatterley's Lover, the infamous "Schoolkids" issue of Oz, Inside Linda Lovelace and, most recently, during the case of Michael Peacock, full-hand fisting, urination, staged kidnapping and rape.
Their judgment was published in full, earlier this week, by blogger Obscenity Lawyer, a solicitor and one of the UK's leading legal experts providing advice to defendants on matters of obscenity and extreme porn.
The judgment states (par 21): There could be no sensible reason for the legislature having excluded otherwise obscene material from the scope of the legislation, merely because it was likely to be read by, and therefore liable to deprave and corrupt, only one person...
During its long history it has been used to prosecute novels and images, invoked by the police seizing pornographic magazines and on one infamous occasion, tested out in respect of online publication - the "Girls (scream) aloud" case - though then, the audience was likely to be counted in the dozens if not hundreds.
If the application of this legal principle remains restricted to instances where fantasy is focused on child abuse, it remains a theoretical impediment to freedom of speech, but one about which few are likely to go to the wall.
The danger, as some may now suspect, is that the principle will, inevitably, be widened out - with the result that discussing sexual fantasy online may become increasingly perilous for those who wish to do so.
The decision has been broadly welcomed by CEOP, the UK organisation tasked with policing the online world for child abuse: "This is a landmark case [and] a good opportunity from a law enforcement point of view.
It opens up the possibility of more people being prosecuted for offences against children." So what difference does this make?
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