Joyce admits making indecent images of children including a one-year-old baby
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.
BAIL?! MP Eric Joyce GUILTY
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”.
In response to the guilty plea, NSPCC Scotland stressed the importance of cracking down on this type on online abuse.
A spokesperson said: “Within horrendous content like this are young victims of child sexual abuse who will take a very long time to recover from their ordeals.
“There is a sickening online trade in this content and tech firms must step up to help law enforcement stamp it out.
“It’s also critically important that offenders undergo all appropriate rehabilitation.”
Children can contact Childline 24/7 on 0800 1111. Adults concerned about the wellbeing of a child can phone the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 8005000 or email email@example.com.