A man has been warned he faces a custodial sentence after pleading guilty to possession of what prosecutors described as "extreme porn" at Mold Crown Court last week.
Campaigners against the extreme porn law are now waiting with some concern to see what the court decides when the accused, Andrew Robert Holland, of Coedpoeth, Wrexham, Clwyd returns for sentencing in April.
The case started out as high farce. Following a raid by North Wales police last summer, Holland was charged with two offences under ss.63-68 of the Criminal Justice Act 2008.
The first charge centred on an allegation that he had in his possession a clip featuring human-animal sex. This was dropped after the prosecution discovered that the animal in question – a tiger – was actually a CGI-generated spoof, modelled loosely on Tony the Tiger of Frosties fame, and that the tiger finished off his sex act by turning to camera and saying "That beats doing adverts for a living".
The second and more serious charge alleged that Holland had downloaded and viewed a six-second clip of human-on-human extreme porn.
According to Holland, this was sent to him as a joke - he viewed it just once, but made the mistake of not getting round to deleting it.
At the Crown Court in Mold, last week, before Mr Justice Medland, Holland pleaded guilty to a charge of possession, in the expectation that this would count as mitigation and lead to a lighter sentence.
Holland told the Register last week that he was therefore shocked in the extreme to be told to return home pending reports – and that a custodial sentence was "likely".
If this does indeed occur, then the worst fears of campaigners against this law seem set to be realised. This is a stand-alone charge – almost the first of its kind.
For Consenting Adult Action Network (CAAN), National Convenor Clair Lewis said: "Assuming this involves an image of consenting adults – which we believe it to do – we find the idea of sending someone to prison at all for the mere act of possessing an image to be disgraceful and most likely a breach of Human Rights.
"We will be investigating further and if the authorities are as unreasonable as they appear, we will take further action." ®