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Kent pensioner cleared of extreme pornographic charges

A pensioner cleared earlier this year of involvement in an illegal coin-making factory has now been acquitted of possessing extreme pornographic images.

Former stand-up comic Michael Silk, of Sanderling Way, Iwade, had denied six offences, involving bestiality, alleged to have been committed in May last year.

Alex Wilson, prosecuting, told a judge at Maidstone Crown Court on Tuesday that after discussions with an expert he was offering no further evidence as he believed there was no realistic prospect of conviction.

Mr Wilson said there had been considerable debate as to the meaning of possession of the images on 70-year-old Mr Silk's computer.

A new law making the possession of such images came into force on January 26 last year, but the expert could not determine when Mr Silk viewed the images.

James Martin, defending, told Judge Philip St John-Stevens: "We are talking about someone who has viewed something and not downloaded it.

"He simply viewed it and the computer has stored it temporarily."

The judge entered formal not guilty verdicts.

Mr Silk, who is in poor health, was cleared of making thousands of £1 counterfeit coins with intent in February after the prosecution again offered no further evidence.

The decision followed a jury's failure to reach a verdict on three charges in December.

Mr Silk's son Stephen, 49, of Wises Lane, Borden, was jailed for three-and-a-half years in February, after admitting masterminding the scam.

The court heard police raided a unit at Tonge Corner, near Sittingbourne, and found 8,000 fake £1 coins in a concealed area.

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