Girls Aloud blogger appears in court

Oct. 22, 2008 at 8:25 PM
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LONDON, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- A man accused of violating England's obscenity law by blogging about the fictional rape and murder of the pop group Girls Aloud is to stand trial next year.

The BBC reported Darryn Walker, a 35-year-old civil servant, appeared in Newcastle Crown Court Wednesday, but did not enter a plea in the case, which is to go to trial March 16, 2009.

He is accused of violating the Obscene Publications Act by writing "Girls (Scream) Aloud" -- a violent, 12-page story about the kidnapping, mutilation, rape and murder of the female pop group -- and posting it on a fantasy pornography Web site.

The British broadcaster said Walker has been granted unconditional bail until the trial.

The Daily Telegraph said Scotland Yard's Obscene Publications Unit arrested him last February after it was contacted by the Crown Prosecution Service last year.

Although the Obscene Publications Act is 50 years old, the Girls Aloud case is seen as the first real test of it since pornography has become widely available on the Internet. It also is the first case in years to involve the written word, the Telegraph noted.

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