However, this has been a pyrrhic victory for justice itself. In a case widely believed to have been prosecuted maliciously which hordes of people the world over feel should never have been brought to court, the Criminal Prosecution Service and it’s individual prosecution team in this case have behaved in a way that many feel has been reprehensible. Consequently, trust in the CPS, trust in the law, and trust in the UK’s lawmakers has been dealt a massive, damaging blow.
In addition to this, though Mr. Walsh has been acquitted of all charges, he too has suffered immense damage to his career, social life, reputation and public standing that can never be undone, as well as a needless deep and painful intrusion into his private sexual affairs that is guaranteed in itself to leave it’s mark, both psychological and social.
In a statement read on behalf of Mr. Walsh by solicitor Myles Jackman, Mr Walsh said;
Today I was unanimously acquitted by a jury at Kingston Crown Court of five charges of being in possession of extreme pornography despite the images depicting acts which are legal to perform, and an extremely damaging allegation of being in possession of child porn in respect of a single image sent to me unrequested via email over three years ago which the jury had no difficulty deciding was in fact a picture of an adult.
I would like to commend the jury for their common sense verdict, my legal team for their robust efforts and all the support I have received from the general public.
I would like to take this opportunity to encourage our legislators and regulators not to prosecute individuals in possession of images depicting private and consensual adult sexual acts.
Nonetheless, these allegations have damaged my career and personal standing. As I said in my evidence I do not believe that when I stood for public office I gave up my right to a private sexual life. I reiterate that point now.
I hope to return to public life as soon as possible. I have no further comment to make at this time.
In failing to win a conviction in this trial, the possibility of a dangerous precedent has been averted. British internet users can now breathe a sigh of relief, safe in the knowledge that they need not fear certain prosecution simply for being sent an unsolicited and allegedly illegal file attachment via email at any time and from any source… though a precedent for doing so has now been set never the less.
Even so, gay people, queers, those that take their sexual health seriously, and people who practice BDSM or other forms of alternative sexuality in their private sexual lives regardless of their orientation will be that little bit more anxious following this trial. The prosecution in this case has slurred them all, worked to the effect of increasing social stigma, tarring them all with the same brush of “sexual deviant”, with an accompanying undercurrent of disdain and disgust.
Given the shocking and appalling attitudes and behaviour of the police and CPS on display in this case, it is unsurprising that many are calling for the head the Director of Public Prosecutions, Kier Starmer QC; a former human rights defence lawyer;
As of the moment of writing, that one call for Mr. Starmer’s resignation alone has been retweeted a whopping 149 times in the space of just 56 minutes. This is perhaps unsurprising in consideration of the fact that twitter users have been quick to note the connection between both this prosecution and the ‘Obscenity Trial‘ earlier this year, as well as the recent prosecution dubbed the ‘Twitter Joke Trial‘. Meanwhile, no conviction was reached in the trial regarding the death of Ian Tomlinson, widely regarded to have occurred at the hands of the Metropolitan Police at a time where corruption in the Met is widely insinuated with significant amounts of supporting evidence.
That this ‘Porn Trial’ against a man who previously was employed in the prosecution of police officers accused of misconduct, and in this context, makes it unsurprising that many believe this prosecution to have been malicious;
Yet another humiliation for the CPS after another malicious prosecution. Maybe this time they’ll learn
The summation of the CPS’s case most certainly didn’t help in this respect, given that they requested that the jury believe assertions for which there was no evidence – such as the assertion that as they didn’t find any incriminating evidence on Mr. Walsh’s computers, he must therefore have ditched a computer somewhere prior to the investigation. It’s a patently ridiculous thing to suggest in a court of law, and it’s a wonder that the prosecutor was not found in contempt of court for it.
With such bold and absurd assertions, there is now a very real worry that laws such as Section 63 of the CJIA regarding violent pornography, which were already widely regarded as bad laws n the first place, will continue to be prosecuted far in excess of the original intentions of the legislation; a practice for which this trial has in itself been evidence. As a result of the loss of confidence that this situation creates, and in horrified incredulity at the conduct of the CPS, there are calls for wholesale changes to the system;
In the floods of comment on this trial, there has not been a single solitary comment of mitigation or support in favour of the CPS, and rightly so. They themselves can now expect a flood of freedom of information requests seeking to know how much this whole farce has cost the taxpayer that’s been forced to fund it.
The unifying thread to all reactions in this trial, never the less, is that absolutely nobody is in any way comfortable with seeing the CPS get away with this behaviour…. and I agree with them. It can NOT be allowed to continue, as it’s not only reprehensible and socially corrosive behaviour that destroys the lives of innocent people and stigmatises vast swathes of the general public while placing democracy at risk, but it makes an absolute mockery of law, order, and justice in the UK while allowing those responsible for it to sit on their laurels and rake in the cash.
Had the prosecution been a corporation (perhaps providing a debt collection service), and the defendant been a client, there would have been the Equality Act to answer to. However, the prosecution in this case is the state, and the defendant a member of the public. The CPS has been free to stigmatise, demonise, discriminate and ruin the life of this man with no solid grounds to even consider doing so… and all in the name of the public interest; a public upon whom they have inflicted and threatened to inflict significant harm through their actions.
It HAS to stop. It simply has to… and I invite you to comment on this, share it, or talk about it anywhere if you agree. Write to your MP’s. Make freedom of information requests… complain directly to the CPS… anything rather than nothing. This cannot be allowed to pass without consequence.