Singer murder blogger faces obscenity charges

A civil servant is being prosecuted for posting a blog on a fantasy porn site which allegedly details the kidnap, rape and murder of pop group Girls Aloud, in an historic case that will test obscenity law on the internet.

Darryn Walker is being prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act in a case that is seen as one of the most significant on censorship since Penguin Books was tried for the publication of DH Lawrence's novel 'Lady Chatterley's Lover' in 1960.

Walker appeared before South Tyneside magistrates in July when he entered no plea and was granted unconditional bail.

The 35-year-old's 12-page blog, headlined 'Girls (Scream) Aloud', allegedly describes the kidnap, mutilation, rape and murder of band members Cheryl Cole, Nadine Coyle, Sarah Harding, Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh.

The case is expected to be the first test of the law since pornography became widely available on the internet and is one of the first involving the written word in recent years.

Scotland Yard's Obscene Publications Unit was made aware of the blog by the Internet Watch Foundation, which monitors illegal content online.

The website where the blog was posted has a foreign host but prosecution is possible because the alleged author was identifiable as a British citizen living in the UK.

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said: "The vast majority of prosecutions brought under the Obscene Publications Act have related to images, be they photographs, be they computer-generated images or videos.

"It is very unusual to be prosecuted for a case involving the written word. The test is whether the material is likely to deprave or corrupt those reading or viewing it."

Walker was arrested by Scotland Yard officers earlier this year at his home in South Shields and charged under the Act. He is next due to appear at Newcastle Crown Court on October 22.

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