Hamilton's naked girl shots ruled 'indecent'
David Hamilton - the photographer whose images hang in the US Library of Congress, Carnegie Hall and the Royal Danish Palace - has had his multi-million-selling images of young, naked women and girls officially branded as indecent in a landmark British ruling. Anyone owning one of his coffee-table books now risks being "arrested for possession of indecent photographs", following a ruling at Guildford Crown Court.
The case revolves around Stanley Loam, a 49-year-old auditor from Walton on Thames, Surrey, who was charged with being in possession of 19,000 indecent images of children - the biggest ever haul by the county's force. Loam claimed he had a genuine interest in artistic material, and that the images in his collection by Hamilton were freely available in books sold by websites run by WHSmith, Tesco, Waterstones and Amazon. Loam said he thought they were not indecent, but lost his defence.
Prosecutor Simon Connolly told the court that Loam's home was raided as part of Operation Ore, after receiving a tip-off from the US Postal Investigation Service. He argued that the images, including those by Hamilton,
The court heard the images seized were of the lowest indecency rating - category 1.
Speaking after, DC Simon Ledger, of Surrey Police, said:
Whether Hamilton's images are widely available or not, he suggested, they are clearly unlawful.
Hamilton's photographs have long been at the forefront of the "is it art or pornography?" debate. Glenn Holland, spokesman for the 71-year-old photographer, who lives in St Tropez, said:
On Tuesday, W H Smith said it was withdrawing one of Hamilton's books - The Age of Innocence - from sale on its website, following a discussion with London publishers, Aurum Press.