Feeds

Extreme pr0n suspect has his internet access suspended

Heard not seen, at least not online

Remote control for virtualized desktops

A new threat for those suspected of ogling extreme porn arrives today in the shape of an internet ban pending trial. This is what lawyers might term "an interesting idea", and one that could come to cause grief far more widely if it catches on.

Phillip Heard, aged 57, of Coed Fedwen, Birchgrove, in Swansea, faces 19 charges of having images of a "grossly offensive, disgusting" or "obscene" character.

He is alleged to have possessed images which explicitly and realistically portrayed an act which "resulted, or was likely to result in serious injury" to a person's breasts and genitals, as well as images of a person "performing an act of intercourse" with a dog and a horse. Whether this was in the same episode or two subsequent episodes is not made clear.

Heard was committed to Swansea Crown Court where he will appear next month.

The two aspects of this case that may raise legal eyebrows are first of all a bail condition set last week - a requirement that Mr Heard does not access the internet or buy any item from which it is possible to use the internet – and second, the report by thisissouthwales.co.uk that these allegations "date back to August 28, and September 16, 2008".

The issue with the bail condition is that, under Human Rights Law, it could well be argued that this condition is itself a punishment, delivered in advance of court hearing and verdict. As such, it may constitute a breach of the Human Rights Act. If it is allowed to stand, it certainly flags up the serious risk for IT personnel in future that, from the moment they are charged with certain online offences, they may find their access to the net taken away.

The date of the allegations is also of interest. We have checked with local press and courts and are awaiting comment from the Police. However, if the offences were committed on the dates given, Mr Heard ought to walk free: the extreme porn law did not come into being until 26 January 2009 and is not, as far as we are aware, retrospective in its application. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
Google bags OBSCENELY LARGE Times Square ad space for New Year's
Choc Factory pays millions for whacking new digital screen
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
'Cleantech' a dirty word for VCs? RUBBISH!
They just think the current schemes are terrible
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.