The case of Darryn Walker could be a turning point in the way in which UK sex bloggers write their blogs. On the final verdict on the case will indicate if we can continue to express ourselves freely, or if a legal precedent will be set and boundaries will be set out that we dare not cross.
The prosecution is being brought under the obscene publications act. The same legislation that failed to convict Penguin for publishing D H Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover in 1960. It appears that the only reason the Crown Prosecution service decided to proceed with the prosecution is that the content of Walker’s blog is so extreme that they felt compelled to act.
I have not read the blog, but the content outline I have found described on the web is of a kidnap, mutilation and rape fantasy involving the girl band Girls Aloud which culminates in their murders.
From what little I have read of the blog it certainly deserves to be investigated, if only to ensure that Walker gets some form of help. I can’t see how the blog would have been a great work of erotic fiction and suspect it simply betrays his inability to moderate his own fantasies and temper them to within what most people would consider reasonable parameters.
The worry of course is that this and possible subsequent prosecutions will set precedents which will be used to prosecute adult bloggers. The Judge’s summing up to the jury and, assuming a prosecution, his remarks at sentencing, will be very interesting.
Until then, enjoy your freedom to fantasise, but don’t abuse it.
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