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Attorney Charged With Obscenity Offenses Under 2008 UK Law

Attorney Charged With Obscenity Offenses Under 2008 UK Law

KINGSTON UPON THAMES, UK—Simon Walsh used to be an alderman of the city of London, not to mention one of its law department's prosecutors. He also happens to be, as he admitted to police, a fan of BDSM, coprophilia and "urethral sounding," which involves the insertion of a thin metal surgical instrument into a person's urethra to extract foreign objects that may be lodged there—but which can also be done just for kicks.

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And, it turns out, interest in those fetishes can get you busted under the UK's 2008 Criminal Justice and Immigration Act, as Walsh, who's currently on trial for those interests in the Kingston Upon Thames Crown Court. The trial began on Monday, continued until shortly after noon on Tuesday, and was recessed and scheduled to resume at 10:30 Thursday morning. Walsh has also been fired from his alderman and barrister posts, as well as from his position with the London Fire Authority.

While it's unclear how Walsh's sexual interests came to the attention of the police, he apparently gave them permission to examine his home and work computers, where they found none of the "violent pornography" that's prohibited by Section 63 of the Act—but they did find one email on Walsh's hotmail account which contained nine photo and text attachments, one of them a story about erotic asphyxiation, and whose subject line read, "pics of me, cbt, etc."

"Cbt," it turns out, stands for "cock-and-ball torture," and that was enough for Walsh to be arrested for possessing an "extreme pornographic image," which is (barely) defined as an image that, in pertinent part, "is grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character" and "it portrays, in an explicit and realistic way, any of the following— (a) an act which threatens a person’s life, (b) an act which results, or is likely to result, in serious injury to a person’s anus, breasts or genitals."

Walsh was also a member of the website "Nasty Kinky Pigs," on which its gay members exchange contact info and BDSM photos.

There are six counts to Walsh's indictment, four of which involve "harm to genitals"—apparently depictions and/or descriptions of the urethral sounding—one involving a photo of a man in a harness with another man inserting his shit-covered arm into the guy's asshole, and the last involving what was simply described as an "indecent image."

So far, the prosecution's main witness has been Dr. Paul Hegarty, a urological surgeon who testified that he'd used urethral sounds to remove a variety of objects from a patient's bladder (which is the end point of the urethra), including a thermometer, a piece of wood and a catheter, but that using a urethral sound for sexual purposes is potentially dangerous as it may cause infection or injury if not used properly. However, he did say that he'd never seen a patient who'd been injured while using a urethral sound to get off with sexually, though he refused to endorse a report submitted by the defense that stated that "injuries sustained in erotic play using urethral sounds was rare."

Walsh's attorney is Myles Jackman, who's been granted permission to tweet live from the trial—such tweets can be found at #porntrial—and who's written a bit about the case on his blog.

If convicted, Walsh faces three years in prison and will be deemed a sex offender required to register with the police as such.

All for a few photos that don't even involve kids or animals.

Pictured: Simon Walsh and a set of urethral sounds.






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Mark Kernes

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