Eric Joyce: Ex-Labour MP admits child sex offence

Eric JoyceImage copyright

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Eric Joyce, seen here in 2015, admitted a child sexual offence

Ex-Labour MP and former Army officer Eric Joyce has been told he faces jail after he admitted making an indecent image of a child.

Joyce, 59, of Worlingworth, Suffolk, was originally arrested in November 2018 and appeared in court earlier.

The court heard the “Category A” material was made between August 2013 and November 2018.

Joyce was granted bail and ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register. He is due to be sentenced on 7 August.

Joyce was the Labour MP for Falkirk in Stirlingshire between 2000 and 2012 before leaving the party to serve as an independent.

He pleaded guilty at Ipswich Crown Court to a charge of making an indecent photograph of a child.

Judge Emma Peters said the single 51-second movie, found on a device, “depicts a number of children”.

“Some are quite young, one is said to be 12 months old – clearly a Category A movie,” she said.

Category A material is defined by the Sentencing Council as the most serious category of indecent images of children.

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Met Police

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Joyce in a Metropolitan Police handout after he was convicted of assaulting two teenagers in London in 2014

She said Joyce, who appeared at court in person, “says he accesses it via an email which he says was a spam email”.

“At the time he was drinking heavily and he has now undergone work with the Lucy Faithfull Foundation and a psychotherapist,” the judge said.

Shadow Northern Ireland minister

She said the court “takes such incidents very seriously” as they “fuel the abuse of children”.

As a Labour MP, Joyce held the post of shadow Northern Ireland minister in 2010.

He stepped down before the 2015 general election.

Joyce originally joined the Army in 1977 before serving for 21 years, during which he rose to the rank of major.

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