Englishman Charged With Bestiality Over Video That Proved To Be A Man In A Tiger Costume

220px-Garry_Moore_Tony_the_Tiger_1955Bus driver Andrew Holland said last year has been a nightmare. He has spent six months on bail, hired an attorney, and stood accused of a heinous crime. People ridiculed him and shunned him for allegedly possessing a film that showed a woman having sex with a tiger. The police charged him with possession of an extreme pornographic image. No one however appeared to actually watch or analyze the film. The film turned out to be a man in a tiger costume who kept saying ‘That’s grrrrrreat’ – the catchphrase of Frosted Flakes cereal mascot Tony the Tiger. All charges have now been dropped, but one has to wonder how the police or prosecutor could have missed this small detail. Putting aside the fact that a man in a tiger outfit hardly looks like the real thing, a talking tiger might have been a clue.

Holland, 51, received the video from a friend as a joke. He said that he watched only six seconds of the video, but he was publicly humiliated and targeted by vigilantes. He said that the hate campaign led to his losing his job and a heart attack. In addition, he was denied contact with his young daughter for more than a year

He is now trying to get a change in the law governing pornography to protect material that is “harmless but crude.” The law, passed in 2009, makes it a crime to possess pornographic images depicting acts threatening a person’s life; threatening serious injury to a person’s anus, breasts or genitals; bestiality; or necrophilia. While only passed five years ago, the law has resulted in more than 5,500 prosecutions.

The standard under the law is dangerously vague in requiring proof that the image be “pornographic; grossly offensive, disgusting, or otherwise of an obscene character.” Terms like “offensive” or “disgusting” would allow a great array of images to be included under the law. Nevertheless, the drafters tacked on a catch-all category of “or otherwise . . . obscene character.”

For years, I have been writing about the comprehensive attack on free speech rights in England (here and here and here and and and here and and here and here and here), including a recent move to include “unsavory” content as prohibited. As noted in a recent column, free speech appears to be dying in the West with the increasing criminalization of speech. The criminal code in England is now becoming a patchwork of overlapping, ambiguous standards that criminalize speech considered offensive, discriminatory, or “gross”. More than any country, England (the source for so many of our own legal traditions) appears to have lost faith — or patience — with free speech.

This case illustrates not only a criminal law that is too sweeping but a criminal justice system that is falling to perform basic threshold tests to protect the rights of the accused.

56 thoughts on “Englishman Charged With Bestiality Over Video That Proved To Be A Man In A Tiger Costume”

  1. Squeeky:

    This thread needs your gentile wit.

    Looking forward to your ribald rhyme.

  2. One has to wonder how this case came to be in the first place. How did the government know of the existence of the video to begin with?

    A key element of any pornography investigation is to actually watch the medium. The whole system broke down and the only one who suffered was an innocent man.

    1. cosplay is costume play. A big deal at sci fi conventions. Basically dressing up as a character from a show you admire.

  3. He should be entitled to have a tape of his wedding night. Stop holding society to archaic traditional religious values. He should be able to have films and photos that celebrates man-beast love. Who are you to judge?

  4. “Kafka in the morning?

    One morning, as bus driver Andrew Holland was waking up from anxious dreams, he discovered that in bed he had been changed into a monstrous verminous bug, er, bugger, um, buggerer …of tigers.

  5. wrx, I always got the 2 mixed up. We took our kids to Disneyworld and I couldn’t tell the difference. Those Disney dogs all look alike. Hell, I sprung for the character breakfast and had Goofy or Pluto visit our table. I have photos. Damned it I know who it was. They’re not allowed to talk, you know.

  6. If Kafka were English. he could have written this.

    Socialist nations use prosecutions like this to control the populace.
    You never know when the police will come, or for what.

    To live in fear is to be subdued.
    It doesn’t work in the long run, for those nations fail, but it works for a few generations very, very well.

  7. Haz, Disney is now in a quandary. As you know, Walt was a very conservative guy. Well, it turns out Goofy and Pluto are gay and want to be married. They have hired attorneys.

  8. The countries of Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Hungary are European countries that allow bestiality. We keep hearing the socialists here telling us what a wonderful place it is to live in socialists Europe. Now I have to wonder the real motivation.

    I know a guy who has many pictures of panda sex similar to this guy’s, Tony the Tiger. He would probably get executed in China.

  9. Western paranoia strikes deep,
    into our hearts it will creep
    starts when you’re always afraid
    step out of line the man comes
    and takes you away

    – Buffalo Springfield (modified to fit context)

  10. Things were not well at Disneyland. The star players, Mickey and Minnie Mouse were having marital discord that impacted everything they did in the workplace. The other characters couldn’t avoid being drawn into the arguments, most of which were often just pettiness borne of fatigue and constant togetherness.

    Tired of the squabbling, Disney management issued the couple an ultimatum: Seek counseling or we’ll tear up your contract with us. Mickey and Minnie saw the writing on the wall. There were few career opportunities for them outside of the Disney realm. Reluctantly, they went to the Disney Employee Assistance Program office and scheduled an appointment with the marital therapist.

    They dutifully attended several therapy sessions. Concerned about Minnie’s erratic behavior, the therapist asked Minnie to meet with him for several private sessions so he could better diagnose the cause of her anger, frustration, depression, and listlessness. Aware that jobs hung in the balance, Minnie attended the sessions.

    As Minnie’s behavior grew increasingly unpredictable, Mickey grew more concerned. Finally, unable to take any more he called the therapist.

    “Doc, it’s Mickey. I have to ask you a difficult question” he stammered. “Do you think that Minnie’s nuts?”

    The therapist paused as he formed his answer. “No, Mick, I don’t think Minnie is nuts. But I’m pretty sure she’s effing Goofy.”

    Ba dum bump! Hey-o! I’ll be here all week, folks, and be sure to tip your waitress. Drive safely and good night!

  11. Reminds us of the tremendous power of the prosecution to destroy the lives of innocent people.

    There is little prosecutorial oversight and even less recourse to right an injustice (see the Wisconsin political investigations).

  12. The next two years will be very messy for the county but very lucrative for attorneys.

  13. Do not forget that this is a country in which you have have your court case sealed in advance if you are important enough. And the Royal Family gets to decide what gets in the press about them.
    And now the Democrats are making a run at controlling the Internet. You think they do not want the same thing?

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