U.K. Attorney Acquitted of 'Extreme Porn' Charges

Aug 8, 2012 10:30 AM PST

LONDON — A British jury has acquitted Simon Walsh, the gay former London mayoral aide, attorney and city alderman, who was charged with five counts of possessing extreme pornography and one count of possessing an indecent image.

Myles Jackman of Hodge Jones & Allen, which represented Walsh, tweeted today that a not guilty verdict had been returned by jurors at Kingston Crown Court. The case is thought to be the first trial live-tweeted by an attorney.

The case was brought after images of fisting and other sexual activities were found by police in a personal email account Walsh used. Walsh was charged under Section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008.

Section 63 makes it an offense to possess “an extreme pornographic image" that is “grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character” and depicts an action that is either life-threatening, or likely to result in “serious injury” to a person’s anus, breasts or genitalia.

Prosecutors were unable to get jurors to find him guilty on five of the six counts, including charges that images of fisting and insertion of "urethral sounds" were in his possession.

The sixth count alleged that one image found in the email account was of an underage boy, a charge not successfully proven in court.

Jackman, in comments after trial, told local reporters: “It took a jury to defend sexual freedoms by repelling the voyeur state from intruding on the privacy of an individual’s bedroom.”

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