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Not guilty verdict in gay escort’s obscenity trial

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  1. Yay for common sense and all kinds of consenting activities between adults :)

  2. This prosecution was a ridiculous waste of public money

    1. I agree with you, but also possible a useful way to challenge and amend/delete the law in its legal setting?

    2. I agree, Harry

      Equally, it may prevent some other cases in the future by setting a precedent?

      1. Know what you mean Stu but it may provoke scum like MediaWatch (the successors to Mary Whitehouse) to press for the law to be tightened up…

        1. They press for that all the time. It’s precisely now when we have to defend freedom of expression, even though the majority of people find this kind of thing revolting.

          I pity the jurors having to sit through all this thugh.

      2. Jock S. Trap 7 Jan 2012, 10:44am

        Certainly hope so Stu.

        1. Rashid Karapiet 11 Jan 2012, 10:03am

          Good old Jockstrap, still trying to be taken seriously…What sort of mind-set lies behind this choice of pseudonym, one wonders.

          1. … and Rashid (or whatever other name you want to use today …) continues to personally attack rather than debate the issue at hand …

            disappointingly irrelevant and uninteresting as always ..

    3. I really struggle to see how it could be in the public interest not have a greatrer than 50% chance of being upheld – the two tests the CPS are supposed to use.
      Its not as though the CPS are not busy with real crime

      1. Given the definition the CPS prosecutors had for what was deemed depraving, I can see why they went for it – but their guidance is clearly legally wrong!

  3. and there I was, thinking that “Extreme sex acts” was like sex while jumping off the edge of a cliff, or getting a blowjob while mountain biking down Everest….

    1. Mr. Ripley's Asscrack 6 Jan 2012, 5:22pm

      Funny!

  4. Proof that God is on our side, another win for the gay team. I was praying for him to win and he did. Now if only all of the sad and confused busy body Christians would stop trying to tell people what to do in their bedrooms and who and how to have sex the world would be a better place. Christians need to be put on trial for forcing their outdated views of sex between consenting adults around the world. We need a groups to fight to get and keep Christians out of our sex lives and bedroom forever and help save our sex lives from their oppression and outdated laws and rules.

  5. Spanner1960 6 Jan 2012, 5:19pm

    I heard that the escort had retired from professionally fisting people, but that he still did it part-time as he liked to keep his hand in…

    1. PMSL!!!! Nicely put, Spanner1960!

  6. Mr. Ripley's Asscrack 6 Jan 2012, 5:22pm

    Don’t the CPS have anything better to do than enforce a law that is so criminally out of date?! Waste of money!

    Unless the CPS are following the mandate of Daily Mail/Telegraph of course, in whose interest to pursue this case to court?

    “Tend to deprave and corrupt”?! Just by watching the material?! WTF?!

    1. The only way CPS could choose not to is to consider it “not to be in the public interest” to prosecute …

      Whilst, I agree its not a good use of public funds to engage in a prosecution of this type … I do empathise with the CPS’ position – in that it is not necessarily for them to determine what is good law and bad law …

      It is for parliament to repeal such bad law …

    2. The law in question is probably Section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, relatively recent and full of terms that need to be clarified under common law. I don’t want to type out the section (and have never managed to format a flipping paragraph in to PN…to my eternal shame) but if you were to look it up on Wiki you can see the open-ended wording. These tests are absolutely necessary – and arguably drafting law that way allows for a lot of wiggle room and interpretation as well as flexibility.

      1. Actually, he was done under the Obscene Publications Act. The recent Section 63 is even worse in that sense, in that it doesn’t have the “deprave and corrupt” test, but replaces it with terms like “disgusting”.

  7. This made me think of all those people who make their friends or relatives watch two girls one cup and film their reaction for youtube.

    Maybe the CPS would like to track them down

  8. GingerlyColors 6 Jan 2012, 10:29pm

    Maybe the 1959 Obscene Publications Act should be updated – it came out eight years before the landmark 1967 act that decriminalized homosexuality.
    Not everybody enjoys pornography and those who do should be a bit more disceet but you are never going to stop it. I think pornography is okay as long as it does not depict illegal acts such as rape, underage sex, children or animals and people who enjoy pornography should respect the views of those who don’t.

    1. What do you mean by “those that do should be a bit more discrete”? In my experience, people don’t tend to talk about porn to every Tom, Dick or Harty but only in circles sympathetic to the consumption of such material.

      1. GingerlyColors 7 Jan 2012, 3:00am

        By being discrete I meant that you don’t really want to be reading a porno-mag in the work’s canteen for example where someone may object for example. People do have different views of what pornography is. Page 3 of the Sun is viewed by some as pornographic or even a life drawing or painting of a nude model done in an arts class may be seen as such. We may not have the same liberal attitudes as the Dutch and many people may not want to see us ‘making out’ in public, let alone sell gay porn.

        1. Spanner1960 7 Jan 2012, 9:12am

          Actually, I do find Page 3 pornographic, and I’m a photographer that often does nudes. It really depends on time and the place, and when you get some rag like the Sun screaming about three-in-a-bed-vicar-romp and how disgusting it all is on the front cover only to turn the page to see some bird with her tits out, I find the whole thing hypocritical in the extreme. No wonder so many people in this country have a totally fcked up view of sex and the human body.

          Just read the comments in the papers about the recent incident of the naked guy and the children photo in France.

        2. So we also shouldn’t show affection in public since “many people don’t want to see [it]?”

          Are you serious?

        3. I’m unclear – are you saying that reading The Sun in the work canteen or having nude models in art classes shouldn’t be done either? The problem with taking “someone might get offended” is that it could apply to anything – why stop at sex, why not say someone reading the Bible?

          Ultimately it only works in public to be based on general consensus. And people shouldn’t pry into other people’s business either, such as happened in this case.

    2. A distinction should be made between fictional depictions of “rape”, and actual crimes – some people enjoy role-play of non-consensual acts after all (and you only have to look on TV to see fictional depictions of major crimes).

      I also agree with the reply about being discreet – in this case, he was selling DVDs to people who wanted them.

      I respect the right of people to have views, that doesn’t mean I necessarily respect their views. I respect the view that they don’t like it; I don’t respect a view that says lock someone up in prison for making or watching it.

  9. Jock S. Trap 7 Jan 2012, 10:43am

    What a waste of money at the expense of the taxpayer. It should never have got to court. Ridiculous but at least the result is a step for common sense and personal choice.

  10. The guardian has his pic on their website for some reason. Seems a bit odd

  11. The Crown Prosecution Service should be ashamed of bringing Sharia law to British courts like this. Sadly, the “public interest” test in bringing prosecutions to court means that this madness is being done in our names, as well as at our expense. I encourage everyone to send formal complaints to the CPS every time you read of a case like this and think “not in my name”.

    The terms “grossly offensive”, “disgusting” and “of an obscene character” are how the government describe many mainstream gay sex acts when they appear in film. To find out if your consensual, legal sex life is morally acceptable, contact the relevant departments below:

    correspondenceunit@attorneygeneral.gsi.gov.uk,
    public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk,
    enquiries@cps.gsi.gov.uk,
    publicity.branch@cps.gsi.gov.uk,
    general.queries@justice.gsi.gov.uk

    Just keep the descriptions as factual as possible, and you should find out in 14-20 days. Yay.

    1. Sharia law?????

    2. This id how edl tries to recruit #fail

      1. This is how I think people should react when institutions that are meant to represent my views act so reprehensibly. They are taking people to court for having photographs of people wearing gas masks and ball gags, which they say are asphyxiation devices and therefore extreme. You can believe in changing the world by leaving comments in lost corners of the internet, or remind those lost corners of government that they are there to do things people want every once in a while. If you support such persecution, write and tell them.

        1. @Daniel

          So most people on here agree the Obscene Publications Act is unfot for purpose …

          Most learned lawyers in this area agree …

          Where does Sharia law come into this?

          There was no Islamic involvement in this case that I am aware of …

          If this had been tried under Sharia law, the outcome would undoubtedly have been very different both in terms of verdict and undoubtedly penalty …

          The legal world is already changing this, led in part by precedent being set in this case …

          Many people who post on here are active in campaigning, politics, or protest – and recognise that discussions here are useful but to make a difference other avenues need exploring (and if you read many of the stories here you will see suggestions of other action taken).

          You frivilous and inaccurate use of the flagrantly provocative comparison of Sharia law is bizarre at best.

          1. I can’t tell the difference between saying someone does not deserve a place in society because they possess pictures of people having consensual sex and saying someone does not deserve a place in society because they have consensual sex. I can’t tell the difference between men meeting in secret places to make these decisions or men and women meeting in secret places to make these decisions. I can’t tell the difference between being unclean, unholy, obscene or disgusting. If you think the law as it stands is a reasonable one, that’s a beautiful thing. I happen to think that theocracy and beauracracy often look the same at the end of the day.

          2. I’m not sure if a not guilty verdict in a Sharia court is rendered meaningless by enhanced criminal record beaurau checks where investigating officers can say what they like about the suspect. Anyone investigated under the dangerous pictures act can not only look forward to their employer being contacted by police, but have the rest of their life held ransom if they work with children for instance.

          3. @Daniel

            The bottom line here is if this had been a trial under true Sharia law then not only would the defendent have been found guilty but he would have been subjected to cruel and inhumane penalty …

            In British law a jury of his peers found him not guilty and exonerated the man

            The finding of the man as not guilty exposed the ridiculous nature of this law. There was then open debate about the law (which you are party to) which under Sharia law, this debate would be restricted and subject to penalty …

            Considerations can now be made for repeal of this law – unlikely under Sharia law …

            Also you mention anyone investigated under the Dangerous Pictures Act, given that CPS guidance on Obscene Publications Act has been shown to be wrong in law, and there are similar aspects to the Dangerous Pictures Act – it is unlikely any prosecution will occur without significant review of law.

            In any event British law is nothing like Sharia law.

      2. Rachel Haytread 10 Jan 2012, 2:09am

        You are such a silly-billy!

    3. its a bit silly to head down this Sharia law route – how do you expect to be taken seriously by anyone?

      1. “WHAT DO WE WANT”
        “Relevant case law”
        “WHEN DO WE WANT IT”
        “Once hundreds of people have had their doors kicked in, arrested, lost their jobs, had careers ended and lives ruined”
        Well, it’s a very British way to fight injustice but if that’s being serious then good luck. I’m sticking to the philosophy that if someone is willing to kick my door in because of some porn showing whips, chains and ball gags then polite indignity won’t make a difference.

        1. What did we get when the court reviewed this case – relevant case law …

          What did we not get – injustice or Sharia law …

          How many people have been prosecuted under this aspect of the Obscene Publications Act 1959 in the last few years? One, and the defendent was found not guilty …

          So, to my mind at least, shouting and screaming about injustice and perceptions of Sharia law actually are totally wrong – the justice system did its job and held the law to scrutiny and found it wrong … its now for politicians and parliament to revise the law … no prosecutions are likely to succeed given the precedent set ..

  12. This case was not a waste of money. Far from it. In the UK we establish basic law through legislative documents, and then have case law to test the limits. It’s a pretty common concept. I suppose this was a test of Section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, which outlaws “extreme porn” but has limited definitions of what that means. This case helps to clarify that definition. The section is specific to any material that depicts “an act which results, or is likely to result, in serious injury to a person’s anus, breasts or genitals”. This case therefore clarifies that fisting is not considered that sort of act. It was necessary

    1. @Valksy

      I do think this case sets a precedent and renders OPA 1959 unuseable – and limits the scope of the Dangerous Pictures Act and for that reason it is an appropriate use of public resources to test the legislation in a legal arena. CPS guidance on issues such as what is offensive or depraving etc etc is subjective and whilst it may be reasonable to have a set of guidelines for legislation to determine at what stage prosecution is appropriate; the subjectivity of this guidance should be subject to scrutiny (ultimately scrutiny in court).

      1. Absolutely. Our common law uses terms all the time like “offensive” and “extreme” – these terms are then defined by case law. Drafting legislation that is exact causes laws than are massive and unwieldy and tend to inadvertently create loopholes. So the courts take on the job of defining things (the “reasonable man” doctrine is a good example of this). Given that the law has been in place for 2 years or so (in terms of practical use) I am surprised that it has taken this long to be seriously tested. But the tests are absolutely necessary. It’s not a unique concept and it has nothing to do with the LGBT nature of the content. In many ways, this is the latest iteration in jurisprudence that covers “obscene” material. The content is not like Lady Chatterley’s Lover, but the principles of testing legal terminology are about the same.

        1. @Valksy

          I entirely concur. The reasonableness test is a great example of courts testing the appropriacy of certain aspects of law. Its also true that as law ages then appeals may emerge which re test case law and the reasonable man may find a different judgement in 2012 to that which he held in 1965 for example.

          Whilst what is acceptable may vary between various cases – the test (usually) remains the same or very similar …

        2. I would like to see statisticts on what was being prosecuted and descriptions of they type of material being considered extreme before having this much faith in the process.

        3. In some cases of law perhaps, but I don’t know what the problematic “loopholes” would be in laws that have no justification in the first place. In particular, it’s unclear to me what loopholes the word “disgusting” is there to prevent, in Section 63. The problem with vague laws that serve no apparent useful purpose is that “testing in court” involves a horrendous ordeal for the person prosecuted. Not to mention the hundreds of people over the years who have pleaded guilty, perhaps served time in prison, because they didn’t want to risk a harsher sentence by gambling over what a jury would think of this material.

          If I haven’t robbed a bank and I’m accused, it’s easy – I plead not guilty. If there’s some vague law where I have no idea if I’ve broken the law, it’s a different matter altogether.

    2. helpful and understandable post – thanks

  13. gay escort club 9 Jan 2012, 12:55pm

    well done Micheal!

  14. What does not seem to be covered by this excellent article is that Mr Peacock could have been prosecuted (without any real defence) of selling unlicensed dvds, as none of the dvds would have had the required BBFC R18 certificate.

    It is also illegal to sell R18 dvds outside of a licensed sex shop by any means – person to person or by mail order.

    Additionally, judging by the price Mr Peacock was selling his wares at, he was selling pirated copies – as the wholesale price of the type of dvds mentioned is in excess of his “retail” price. That would be another prosecutable offence.

    Having said that, the case is a definite positive in bringing the ridiculously outdated UK law in this area in line with Europe and many other countries.

    1. Maybe not true in the above.. I saw a DVD online (NEW: ORIGINAL: IN THE EU) and even when paying for courier from EU->UK it was still £2 cheaper than local shop. Even when postage cost was %60 of total monies to be paid!

      1. … but the UK will still be most censored hardcore after this verdict. Just as it was in the year 2000.
        p.s. most countries stopped going after piss and fist 35 years ago.

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