A former aide for London mayor Boris Johnson has been acquitted of being in possession of 'extreme pornographic images' in a landmark trial.
Simon Walsh, 50, had been Mayor Johnson's representative to the London Fire Authority before being relieved of his duties last November due to charges of possessing extreme pornographic images, allegedly including one of an underage boy, reports the London Evening Standard.
According to The Guardian, it took the jury only 90 minutes to acquit Walsh, whose possession of the images was considered illegal under the Obscene Publications Act of 1959. The prosecution alleged that the photographs, which were attachments on emails found on a Hotmail server account that Walsh set up that depicted anal fisting and urethral sounding, violated the Act.
The Obscene Publications Act defines 'extreme pornography' as “grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character” and depicts acts that are life-threatening or could cause "serious injury to a person's genitals, anus, or breasts," reports PinkNews.co.uk.
It was not the first case to involve extreme sexual acts in media to come up as of late. Earlier this year, Michael Peacock was acquitted after being charged similarly for distributing BDSM DVD's.
Walsh, a homosexual who admits to having an odd sex life according to Prosecutor Thomas Wilkins, had been facing five counts of possessing extreme pornography and one count of possessing an indecent image (for the alleged underage boy in one of the photos). The prosecution was unable to definitely prove that the photo was of an underage boy, nor that the other images were in his possession and violated the Obscene Publications Act.
Walsh was described during the trial as a man of impeccable character and who had made outstanding contributions to society, The Guardian reported. He had been a barrister, prosecuting police officers accused of disciplinary offenses, but had not been able to work due to the charges.