Joyce pleaded guilty at Ipswich Crown Court to making an indecent photograph of a child between August 7, 2013 and November 6, 2018. Judge Emma Peters said the single 51-second movie, found on a device, “depicts a number of children”.
She said: “Some are quite young, one is said to be 12 months old. Clearly a category-A movie.”
Former shadow minister Joyce, of Worlingworth, Suffolk, was granted bail.
Judge Peters instructed that a report be prepared before Joyce is sentenced on August 7.
The 59-year-old has been ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register.
Judge 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.
Judge Peters warned the former shadow minister, of Worlingworth, Suffolk, that the offence crosses the custody threshold.
She said: “It’s going to be a question of whether it’s immediate or suspended.
“You will be required to sign paperwork today acknowledging that you are immediately on the sex offenders register.”
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.”
This is a breaking story, more to follow…