Fair please! Bus driver’s sorry sex tiger-porn tale of hate, heart attack & vigilantism
Bus driver Andrew Holland spent 6 months on bail after being charged with possession of an extreme pornographic image, an offence carrying a maximum jail sentence of 2 years.
It emerged he had been wrongly accused when the Crown Prosecution Service realized the “tiger” in the video was in fact a man in a tiger costume.
The revelations emerged after the costumed actor was reportedly heard to say in the video “that’s grrrrreat,” an imitation of the slogan “they’re grrrrrreat” made by the Frosties’ cereal mascot, Tony the Tiger.
The charges were dropped in December 2009.
Holland claimed he had only watched 6 seconds of the video and that friends had sent it to him as a “harmless but crude” joke. However, following his prosecution he was subjected to “widespread ridicule.”
Holland said he faced a prolonged hate campaign in the wake of the allegations. He told The Independent “I lost my job, I had to move and I ended up having a heart attack with all the stress of it.”
He further claimed he was targeted by strangers who threatened him with letters and phone calls, and that he was denied contact with his daughter for a year. He said he was targeted by vigilantes.
“People were ringing me in the middle of the night,” Holland said.
“Three young lads turned up at my door and were calling me everything. I was threatened on more than one occasion.”
Legislation against the possession of extreme pornographic images were introduced in 2009, and it became an offence to own pornographic images which show life threatening acts, the potential for serious injury, or exploit non-consensual parties such as animals.
Since its introduction, there have been more than 5,500 prosecutions for the possession of extreme pornographic images. Before its enforcement, the Met predicted the law would only result in 30 prosecutions a year.
After a 14-month campaign to clear his name, Holland is now attempting to change the law surrounding the possession of extreme pornography.
Holland’s legal team have written to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in an attempt to ensure that victims of ‘sick’ jokes will not face legal repercussions.
A spokesperson for the campaign group Backlash, who support sexual freedom, told The Independent “this law threatens anyone with a sex life they want to keep private.”
“It threatens ordinary members of the public who exchange dirty jokes by phone and over the internet.”
Holland was also cleared of similar charges in 2010 following an incident with a video called The Pain Olympics, a spoof video featuring prosthetics, cocktail sausages and ketchup.