Ex-Labour MP Eric Joyce gets suspended sentence for making indecent child image

August 07, 2020

Former Labour MP Eric Joyce has been given a suspended sentence for making an indecent image of a child.

Joyce, who represented Falkirk in parliament from 2000 to 2015, has been sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for two years.

He has also been ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work.

Joyce had on a device a 51-second film depicting what appeared to be seven different children, aged between 12-months-old and seven-years-old.

The 59-year-old pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing at Ipswich Crown Court to the offence, which took place between August 2013 and November 2018.

Sentencing him, Mr Justice Edis said the film showed "the penetrative sexual abuse of very young children".

He continued: "That these acts of abuse happened is because there are people like you who want to watch these films.

"If there was no market, those children wouldn't be subjected to these very serious offences."

But the judge added: "You have sought help from people well able to provide it and there's evidence before the court that that has had an effect on helping you reduce, perhaps completely, your impulsive behaviour, and that's happened over a significant period due to the delay in these proceedings."

Mr Justice Edis also sentenced Joyce to a sexual harm prevention order, which will last until further order of the court.

He was also given an 18-day rehabilitation activity requirement and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £1,800.

Joyce left Labour to serve as independent MP for Falkirk in 2012, stepping down before the 2015 general election.

He spent 21 years in the Army, rising to the rank of major.

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