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Date set for internet 'obscene' publications trial

Man in court over 'Girls Aloud' story

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Darryn Walker, a 35-year-old civil servant from Mowbray Road, South Shields, will go to trial next year after being accused of publishing an obscene story on the internet.

Walker was arrested earlier this year, after allegedly posting a work of fantasy titled Girls (Scream) Aloud - about pop group Girls Aloud - on the internet. Further details here.

This morning, Walker appeared in court, to face charges of publishing an obscene article contrary to section 2 (1) of the Obscene Publications Act 1959. His case was set for trial on 16 March 2009. He did not enter a plea, though he may do so between now between now and the trial.

His legal team presented a "position statement" to the court highlighting the importance of the case.

The case appears to be the first prosecution of an individual under the OPA in respect of publishing written material in nearly 20 years. Previous actions against written material have been almost universally unsuccessful. If this one succeeds, it will change the internet landscape for good, or at least until an appeal comes along to overturn that ruling.

He is represented by Andrew "Brian" Mark, a barrister with Broad Chare Chambers, one of the largest sets of barristers’ chambers on the North Eastern circuit. ®

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