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Porn film seller brought to book

Published Friday, 15 April 2016

A man who sold hard core porn films on eBay, which bore no classification mark, was put under a curfew (which involves wearing an electronic tag) and ordered to pay £5,060 (in contribution to costs and victim surcharge) after being prosecuted by Enfield Council.

Colin Mark Lane, 53, of Eagle Close, Enfield pleaded guilty to 12 offences contrary to section 9(1) of the Video Recordings Act 1984, at Tottenham Magistrates Court on 17 March. He was ordered to pay £5,000 contribution to the council’s costs plus a victim surcharge of £60. The court also ordered all the films be forfeited under s21 of the Video Recordings Act 1984.

The curfew runs from 8pm to 8am Friday to Sunday, (three nights a week, as he works four nights per week), for eight weeks starting from 18 March.

The court heard that on 9 January 2015 Enfield Council’s Trading Standard’s team received an email complaint from a member of the public, alleging that an Enfield based eBay seller, Taboo Films, was advertising and selling unclassified adult material on eBay.

Trading Standards discovered that Taboo Films was indeed selling films of this nature, and two videos were test purchased for compliance with the Video Recording Act 1984.

On 19 January 2015 two DVDs were received by Trading Standards. The British Board Film Classification (BBFC) then provided a certificate of evidence for the films, which showed that they breached the Video Recordings Act 1984 and therefore confirmed that they were not classified.

Fair Trade Officers from Enfield Council then raided the home of Mr Lane on 24 March 2015, who was making DVD compilations of existing films and distributing the DVDs from Eagle Close, Enfield. Once inside the property it was confirmed that computer equipment in the property had been used to copy pornographic films onto DVDs.

All the equipment plus approximately 100 film reels and 400 DVDs were seized.

An interview under PACE caution then took place, where Mr Lane admitted to making, supplying and possessing for supply, unclassified video work.

Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Daniel Anderson, said: “Though we're not prudes, nonetheless, there are strict laws governing the copying of all types of films for commercial gain and it’s illegal to sell any film, including those containing pornographic material, if they don’t have a BBFC classification. The classification is there for a reason and we have a responsibility to enforce the law.

“Although it’s fairly obvious we are not talking about episodes of ‘In The Night Garden’ or ‘Mr Tumble’ here there is a fundamental concern that we do not want young people watching films of an adult nature when it may not be completely clear from the titles what the films show, so we had to take action to prevent this continuing activity.”

Superintendent Carl Robinson from the Metropolitan Police said “We were delighted to assist Enfield Council with this matter.

“The selling of unclassified pornographic films is a serious offence, and we were pleased to help bring Mr Lane to court.”

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