LONDON – A jury on Friday acquitted a British man of distributing obscene material, in a case that tested the country’s 50-year-old law banning material likely to “deprave and corrupt.”
Michael Peacock was charged under the 1959 Obscene Publications Act for selling, through a website, pornographic DVDs depicting practices including bondage and sadomasochism.
After a four-day trial in which jurors watched several hours of hardcore DVDs, a jury at London’s Southwark Crown Court on Friday found Peacock not guilty on all six counts.
His lawyer, Myles Jackman, said the verdict showed “that normal people view consensual adult pornography as a part of everyday life and are no longer shocked, depraved or corrupted by it.”
The Crown Prosecution Service said it respected the jury’s verdict but stood by the decision to prosecute.
“The prosecution was not only about the content of the material, but the way in which it was being distributed to others, without checks being made as to the age or identity of recipients,” it said in a statement.
Peacock, 53, pleaded guilty to possession of drugs found at his home by police, and will be sentenced at a later date.