29/06/2009

Girls Aloud Death Porn Deemed Not Obscene

An internet blogger who posted a fantasy story imagining the kidnap and murder of pop stars Girls Aloud has walked free from court.

Former civil servant Darryn Walker, from South Tyneside, denied he ever intended to frighten or intimidate the girl band by writing the piece on a pornography website.

The 35-year-old faced charges under obscenity laws, but today a court ruled the 'Girls (Scream) Aloud' article could not be accessed unless it was specifically searched for.

Earlier prosecutors had argued the graphic fantasy piece could have been found by vulnerable young people, looking for genuine internet material on the pop band.

However, an IT specialist - brought forward by Mr Walker's defence team - told the court only those intentionally seeking such material could have found the 12-page article.

Police swooped on Mr Walker's home in February last year after being alerted by the Internet Watch Foundation, an organisation which reports on potentially obscene material.

Officers from the Obscene Publications Unit held Mr Walker under the Obscene Publications Act.

David Perry QC, prosecuting, said: "A crucial aspect of the reasoning that led to the instigation of these proceedings was that the article in question, which was posted on the internet, was accessible to people who were particularly vulnerable - young people who were interested in a particular pop music group.

"It was this that distinguished this case from other material available on the internet."

Defence QC Tim Owen said: "He (Mr Walker) had written what he had described as an adult celebrity parody and was only meant to be for an audience of like-minded people.

"As soon as he was aware of the upset and fuss that had been created, he took steps himself to take the article off the website."

He added: "This type of writing is widely available on the internet in an unregulated and uncensored form.

"In terms of its alleged obscenity, it is frankly no better or worse than other articles."

The notion that such material influence reader to commit sexual attack was dismissed by a consultant psychiatrist.

Judge Esmond Faulks formally returned a not guilty verdict to the charge of publishing an obscene article.

(PR/JM)

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