Eric Joyce: Former Labour MP pleads guilty to child sex offence

Joyce appeared at Ipswich Crown Court on Tuesday

Ashley Cowburn
Political Correspondent
Tuesday 07 July 2020 11:55
Former MP appears outside Westminster Magistrates’ Court in May 2015
Former MP appears outside Westminster Magistrates’ Court in May 2015

Former Labour MP Eric Joyce has pleaded guilty to making an indecent photograph of a child.

Joyce, who represented Labour for Falkirk between 2000 and 2012, before becoming an independent until his resignation at the 2015 general election, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court today for a pre-trial hearing.

According to the BBC, Joyce was charged last month after being arrested in November 2018. The charge alleged that he had made an indecent photograph of a child – described as a movie file and classified as a Category A image.

Judge Emma Peters said on Tuesday that the single 51-second movie, found on a device, “depicts a number of children”.

“Some are quite young, one is said to be 12 months old,” she said. “Clearly a category-A movie.”

She said Joyce, who appeared at court in person, “says he accesses it via an email which he says was a spam email”, adding: “At the time he was drinking heavily and he has now undergone work with the Lucy Faithfull Foundation and a psychotherapist.”

Joyce, of Worlingworth, Suffolk, was granted bail and Judge Peters instructed that a report be prepared before he is sentenced on 7 August. He is also required to sign paperwork acknowledging his presence on the sex offenders register.

A statement published on Joyce’s website last month, after details of the charge emerged, said: “I will make no comment from now until all legal processes are at a close… at that point, I will make a full statement.”

Joyce, a former soldier, resigned from Labour in 2012 after admitting to common assault in a House of Commons bar, later telling MPs “the standard of my conduct fell egregiously below what is required by a member of this House, or indeed anyone, anywhere”.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in