R v Walsh

Simon Walsh, a barrister and former aide to London mayor Boris Johnson, was charged with possession of extreme pornography relating mainly to images of fisting and urethral sounding. The images were created at a private sex party by willing participants. Walsh was found not guilty in August 2012 at Kingston Crown Court.

The defence argued that the images were not extreme because the activities could be (and were) conducted relatively safely and that they are relatively common acts, particularly within the LGBT community. It was also argued that the images themselves were not pornographic since they were primarily personal records of a private event, not media designed for sexual arousal.

Backlash legal adviser, Myles Jackman, helped form the defence. He commented on the trial for the Guardian. Alex Dymock, an academic researcher specialising in law and sexuality, live-tweeted the trial. She wrote a comment on the trial for the Guardian.

See Backlash press release

Caroline Davies, Former Boris Johnson aide cleared of possession of ‘extreme pornography’, Guardian, Wed 8 August 2012

Martha Gill, “Extreme porn” defendant cleared on all counts, New Statesman, Wed 8 August 2012

Stephen Gray, Gay former mayoral aide not guilty of extreme image charges at ‘#porntrial’, Pink News, Wed 8 August 2012

Jessica Elgot, Porn Trial: Barrister Simon Walsh Acquitted As Fisting Declared ‘Not Extreme, Huffington Post, 8 August 2012

Jessica Elgot, Porn Trial: How Fisting, Gay Sex Parties And Dildos Were Discussed In Court, Huffington Post, 8 August 2012

Terri Judd, Extreme porn acquittal puts prosecutors in the dock, Independent, 10 August 2012

Alison Robert, Simon Walsh: How bodged arrest and ‘profoundly damaging’ false charges have ruined my City Hall career, Evening Standard, 14 August 2012