New laws are put to test in landmark trial
A MAN who downloaded staged images of sexual violence against women has gone on trial under new laws banning "extreme pornography."
In one of the first cases of its kind in the country, Kevin Webster is accused of having "grossly offensive or disgusting" pictures, even though they are "fakes".
The charges follow a police raid on Webster's home in Cresswood Drive, Stone, and the seizure of his two computers in August 2009.
Darron Whitehead, prosecuting, told jurors at Stafford Crown Court that the hard drives of the computers contained "extreme" images.
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Mr Whitehead said that in January 2009 it became an offence to possess images which depicted in an explicit or realistic way acts which threaten a person's life or acts likely to result in serious injury.
Webster, aged 47, denies three charges of possessing extreme pornography depicting images likely to result in injury to a person's breast and one similar charge depicting an act which threatens a person's life.
Mr Whitehead said: "This defendant accepts he viewed and downloaded and saved those images.
"We know the images were fake. The question is whether it is realistic or portrayed in that way.
"The intentions of the persons within those images are irrelevant. It is what is depicted in those images which is material."
He added: "Why is there a need for this new legislation? There is a need to regulate images portraying sexual violence, to safeguard the decency of society and for the protection of women."
The trial continues.