Shop fined for porn display after pupils' tip-off

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A SHOPKEEPER has been fined £53 for selling pornographic magazines on the bottom shelf of his store after a tip-off by schoolchildren.

Saeed Ahmed, 57, who runs News World, in Kirkcaldy, claimed the magazines were only there because he was rearranging his shop display at the time.

He was shocked when police came in and told him he was being charged and that the magazines would be taken away as evidence. However, he admitted a charge of indecent display at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court.

It is the first time in at least ten years that someone has been prosecuted under the Indecent Displays (Control) Act 1981.

Campaigners hope the little-used law will serve as a warning to other shopkeepers who allow adult material to be displayed in reach of children.

Police were tipped off by the Front Page Campaign, which is opposed to the early sexualisation of children by the media.

The shop near Viewforth High School is regularly used by pupils buying crisps and drinks, and they alerted the Fife-based group.

Amy King, who founded the Front Page Campaign, said: "It was common knowledge among the kids. The boys I spoke to wanted to buy car magazines.

"They were embarrassed by the magazines on display, but it was certainly being aimed at them.

"The pictures are very unsuitable for children – it's a public place, they should at least have a frosted cover or something."

Ms King founded the campaign group last year, in opposition to the easy accessibility and visibility of pornographic magazines. It now has 2,000 people on its mailing list and Facebook page.

She said: "The media plays a big part in the premature sexualisation of children.

"People are going in and out of shops all the time with these things on display and it desensitises us to what's inside."

She added: "I hope this will send a message to other shopkeepers, but I don't think a 53 fine is a deterrent at all.

"I am sure he makes a lot of money out of these magazines and 53 will be neither here nor there. It is a big disappointment."

Mr Ahmed said none of the magazines had ever been sold to children.

"I was rearranging the shop when it happened," he added.

"Usually, those magazines are on the top shelf, but at that time they were on the bottom.

"However, they were in the corner of the shop, away from the schoolchildren, with no other magazines beside them.

"Unfortunately, someone reported it and the police came and took away the magazines away as evidence."

A Fife Police spokesman said: "I can confirm we were involved and reported the case to the procurator-fiscal in Kirkcaldy."