Two UK men in their twenties have been convicted of possessing extreme pornography in a case involving the distribution of images featuring beastiality.
Despite the judge accepting that that the two men had not solicited the images Gary Ticehurst, 28, of Canvey Island, Essex, and Mark Kelly, 25, of Romford were both given a two-year conditional discharge and ordered to pay £500 costs.
Both pleaded guilty to possessing the images on their smartphones. Kelly pleaded guilty to one count of “possessing an extreme pornographic image likely to cause injury”, and three counts of possessing pornographic images involving animals. Ticehurst admitted one count of possessing an extreme pornographic image as well as two counts of possessing pornographic images involving animals.
The images were found after Police had stopped the two men for unrelated matters and a routine inspection of their phones was carried out.
Both men defended themselves in court. Kelly said he had deleted the received videos from his WhatsApp, adding that he was unaware that images were saved to his camera roll. “I didn’t even watch the full content of the video. It was very sick and disturbing,” he told the court.
Judge Paul Worsley told the court that his was imposing a “lenient” sentence, accepting that neither man had solicited the content nor had attempted to share it with others.
“You have pleaded guilty to possessing truly disgusting images,” Judge Worsley said adding “It makes a big difference if someone goes out of their way to seek it, or if they’re sent it by some mischievous colleague.”
Even after the judge’s leniency and appearing to have accepted the indirect means the duo were sent the offending images he still imposed a significant punishment.
These kind of cases are always frustrating for me to listen to or read about. Yes I find beastilaity disgusting, yes it’s currently a crime HOWEVER i’ve had random WhatsApp messages from people i’ve met once or twice, or on occasion never, there is no telling what content is in them.
It is literally like trying to convict someone of possessing an e-mail selling illegal viagra. There will be lots of truly innocent individuals caught up in these kind of charges.
My mind is pondering the demo sex and censorship held outside the UK launch of Stop Porn Culture. It would have been so easy for the Police to have stopped and searched any one of us on the basis that we were demonstrating and who knows how many of us the could have detained on these ambiguous, spurious and damn right silly charges.
That is the kind of abuse these laws, coupled with heavy handed powers can fuel.