Internet porn is dealt legal blow

Click to follow
The Independent Online
THE LUCRATIVE porn industry on the Internet was dealt a massive blow yesterday when a judge ruled that porn sites set up in America could be subject to British law.

The ruling followed a test case against Britain's largest Internet porn operator, Graham Waddon, 28, who pleaded guilty to a series of offences. From his Surrey home, Waddon set up porn websites in America, including bestiality and torture, charging his customers pounds 25 a month. Just one of his sites made up to pounds 30,000 a week, and in total more than pounds 1.5m.

He admitted 11 sample counts of publishing obscene articles on the Internet on or before June 1997. Waddon also pleaded guilty to one charge of having an obscene video featuring a dog for publication for gain.

Judge Christopher Hardy at Southwark Crown Court rejected defence counsel that publication occurred outside British jurisdiction.

Waddon will be sentenced on 30 July.

Outside the court, PC Neal Ysart, of the Obscene Publications and Internet Unit, said: "This was the biggest Internet porn operation busted so far in the UK." He said that Waddon had deliberately set up his website in America, hoping that would shield him from prosecution in this country. He added: "But the judge's findings mean he and others like him who try to avoid prosecution by placing this material abroad are making a big mistake. They will be prosecuted. As far as we are concerned, this was a test case. This is a major victory."

He said that if the police had failed the "floodgates" of Internet pornography would have opened.

Comments