At least this time they eventually failed.
But not before a man’s name had been dragged through the mud and his access to his child denied.
Back in March:
The first charge centred on an allegation that he had in his possession a clip featuring human-animal sex. This was dropped after the prosecution discovered that the animal in question – a tiger – was actually a CGI-generated spoof, modelled loosely on Tony the Tiger of Frosties fame, and that the tiger finished off his sex act by turning to camera and saying "That beats doing adverts for a living".
The first charge was dropped by the CPS on the date of the court hearing.
On the second charge, the man was told by the judge that he faced being sent to prison.
Yet, last week:
In March, following advice from his legal team, Holland pleaded guilty to possessing one extreme porn clip and was stunned to be told that he might face a prison sentence. Holland then spoke to members of Consenting Adult Action Network and sexual rights organisation Backlash, who put him in touch with their legal adviser, Myles Jackman of Audu and Co in King’s Cross, London.
So he pleaded guilty on the basis of his legal advice. A bit like the Paul Chambers case.
Then along came a lawyer who had made a different reading of Labour’s wooly and insidious legislation and…
Jackman, a solicitor specialising in extreme pornography offences, advised Holland that contrary to previous advice, there were grounds for pleading not guilty.
On this basis, Holland took the unusual step of applying to the court for permission to "vacate his plea". This is a technical device whereby an individual may go back on a guilty plea at any time before sentencing.
In May, His Honour Judge Rogers, sitting at the Mold Crown Court granted Holland leave to vacate his plea from guilty back to not guilty. Holland was therefore due to stand trial again yesterday. He was expected to call several expert witnesses who would have challenged the characterisation of the clip as "pornographic", arguing instead that the content was intended to be a form of extremely bad taste joke and not sexual in nature.
The CPS, however, declined to offer any evidence, and the matter is at an end.
We spoke to Holland after the case yesterday and he declared himself very relieved. Due to the sexual nature of the case, he has been barred from contact with his daughter since the case began and he is now determined to re-establish contact. He told us: "Now I can start to put my life back together."
The CPS has not yet commented on this matter, or on the fact that on each charge, it was not until the day of the court appearance that it decided the evidence to hand was inadequate. ®
So that’s it then.
No harm done, eh?