Former Scottish MP Eric Joyce facing jail

Eric Joyce, 59, was Labour MP for Falkirk for 12 years

Former Falkirk Labour MP Eric Joyce is facing prison and will be placed on the sex offenders register after he admitted making an indecent image of a child.

The 59-year-old, who was MP for Falkirk between 2000 and 2012, pleaded guilty at Ipswich Crown Court to the offence, which took place between August 7 2013 and November 6 2018.

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

Former Falkirk MP Eric Joyce.

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

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.

She ordered that a report be prepared before Joyce is sentenced on August 7.

Judge Peters warned the former shadow minister, of Worlingworth, Suffolk, that the offence crosses the custody threshold.

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

“You will be required to sign paperwork today acknowledging that you are immediately on the sex offenders register,” she said.

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

The defendant was granted bail until he appears back before the court.

Joyce left Labour to serve as independent MP for Falkirk in 2012, stepping down before the 2015 general election.

He spent 21 years in the Army, rising to the rank of major.

A statement published on Joyce's website last month, after details of the charge emerged, said: “I will make no comment from now until all legal processes are at a close.

“At that point, I will make a full statement.”

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