Eric Joyce: Ex-Labour MP admits child sex offence

Eric Joyce
Former Scottish Labour MP Eric Joyce, seen here in 2015, admitted a child sexual offence

By a Democrat reporter

BBC Scotland is reporting that former Labour MP and one time Army officer Eric Joyce has been told he faces jail after he admitted having an indecent movie of a child.

Joyce, 59, had a film on a device that “depicts a number of children” with one said to be 12 months old, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

The former shadow minister was arrested in November 2018.

He was granted bail and ordered to sign the sex offenders register. He is due to be sentenced on 7 August.

Joyce, of Worlingworth, Suffolk, pleaded guilty to making an indecent image of a child.

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

The court heard the 51-second category A film – the most serious there is – was accessed by Joyce between August 2013 and November 2018.

Judge Emma Peters 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.

She said the court “takes such incidents very seriously” as they “fuel the abuse of children” and warned Joyce the offence crosses the custody threshold.

“It’s going to be a question of whether it’s immediate or suspended,” she added.

While 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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