Sex act pics spark magazine row

A ROW has broken out over images depicting sexual acts which have appeared in a free magazine available in locations around Ipswich.

Grant Sherlock

A ROW has broken out over images depicting sexual acts which have appeared in a free magazine available in locations around Ipswich.

The latest edition of IP1 magazine has been removed from Ipswich Borough Council's centres, including the Tourist Information Centre in St Stephen's Lane, following concerns that the images could cause offence.

The issue came to light after council leader Liz Harsant received a letter of complaint from a member of the public.

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The complaint came after a copy of the magazine, containing an artwork showing three couples engaging in sexual acts, offended a visitor to Ipswich library, which is run by Suffolk County Council, who was said to be “shocked” by its content and the fact it could have been viewed by children.

Mrs Harsant said: “The contents of this issue were most inappropriate and I have asked council staff to resolve the situation.”

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The makers of IP1 defended their decision to publish the images, arguing they fell “well within the legal guidelines for taste and decency for a free publication”.

The artwork in question was part of a story about local artist Berry Patten.

Two other pieces by Patten which accompanied the magazine's Ask Angela sex therapist column were also closely examined by the council but were described by its editor as “all very innocent and fun”.

The council is understood to be considering withdrawing a grant it provides to create volunteering positions for young people at IP1.

A spokesman for the borough council said: “We are meeting with the editor to discuss the situation.”

Howard Freeman, IP1 magazine project manager and editor, said he had received one complaint about the images but insisted the majority of the magazine's readership would not have found them offensive.

“Berry is a local artist who is now getting a lot of success in London so we really wanted to show her work,” he said.

“As a publication that aims to represent young people and local artists who are up-and-coming it's something I feel we should be celebrating because this girl is local. She's not doing anything that is considered outside the boundaries of taste and decency.”

The magazine is now considering putting an advisory note on the cover of future issues.

Were you offended by the images or do you think it's a storm in a teacup? What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail

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