Feeds

Extreme pr0n suspect has his internet access suspended

Heard not seen, at least not online

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.