Oliver Brooke and Lord Lane: The full story

Thanks to Tim Tate for letting me use this extract from his book ‘Child Pornography – An Investigation’ (Methuen, 1990). This follows on from yesterday’s post and provides much more detail about the extent of Oliver Brooke’s involvement in paedophile networks:

Lord Lane’s slender grasp of the realities of paedophilia had been brought into focus two years earlier in the case of Professor Oliver Brooke. Brooke was the 46-year-old London paediatrician who amassed a huge collection of extreme child pornography, neatly bound and indexed in twenty-three albums. He had also commissioned a Blackpool photographer to take indecent pictures of an underage girl.

When, on 18 December 1986, Brooke pleaded guilty to six counts of procuring and distributing child pornography, Kingston Crown Court sentenced him to one year in prison. Brooke and his lawyers appealed, and five months later on 11 May the case came before the Lord Chief Justice of England, Geoffrey Dawson Lane.

Before reviewing what Lane said and did that May morning in 1987, it is important to review the evidence in the Brooke case. It shows quite clearly what Ray Wyre and others like him recognise as an addiction.

Oliver Gilbert Brooke was one of the world’s leading paediatricians. Appointed a professor at the age of forty-four, he had already become an authority in the field of neo-natal care and had written a well-respected book on child care and development. He had four children of his own, but by 1978 had become ‘hooked on child pornography’, according to his barrister.

He began covert buying trips to Copenhagen and Amsterdam, building up contacts with producers and dealers who continued to supply him throughout the 1970s and until his arrest in 1986. In 1985 he had begun corresponding with a Danish dealer named Finn Clausen, asking him to supply magazines and videos. Brooke even supplied a neatly compiled list of the exact titles he sought. Copies of Clausen’s correspondence show the nature of Brooke’s shopping list, and how much he was prepared to spend on his obsession.

Dear Mr. Brooke,

Many thanks for your letter. I can offer all on your list except the following: Girls of 14, none available. ‘Lolita Extra 1, unavailable. The rest I can obtain at the following price…£535.65

If you are interested I can obtain a number of 200-ft 8-mm full-colour films for £80 each, plus a video for £125. It contains a number of short stories, mostly Indian/Thai girls, duration about 1 hour. The films are ‘Lolita Love’, ex-Topsy/Candy Film, Copenhagen, and never released because of the change in Danish law. Six films available, never used, boxed.

Clausen was just one of sveral dealers Brooke contacted and paid for providing explicit child pornography. But his involvement didn’t end there. Among those dealers was an expatriate English grandfather, Leslie George Smith.

Smith lives on the Costa del Sol, operating his pornography dealership from an apartment in Torremolinos. In 1985 he supplied Brooke with substantial quantities of child pornography through his British errand-runner, Ralph Brittan. In return, apart from large cash payments, Brooke began funnelling other explicit material back to Spain, and thence on to the shady Dutch dealer Ari Van de Heul. Nor did the paediatrician stop there. In June 1985 he had placed an advert in the soft-core men’s magazine Escort, reading: ‘Private collector seeks schoolgirl photos, Box No. 120238.’

Quite how many replies Brooke received was never clear. Other than ‘no comment’, he has had nothing to say to police, who suspect that he developed contacts with more than a dozen British paedophiles. They know for certain that at least three men responded – John Colin Wilson, a forty-seven year-old car-repair-firm manager from Manchester; Roderick Bartholomew Gegg, twenty-four years old, unemployed and living in Perrancoombe, Cornwall; and Gary Glyn Jones, a storekeeper-cum-clerk, aged thirty-six, from Colwyn Bay, North Wales. Gegg’s statement is particularly revealing.

Initially I wrote to Box No. 120238 to Escort magazine enquiring what type of pornography was being offered for sale. The subsequent dealings I had revealed a new address;  this was Box 85, 6 Albemarle Way, London, EC1 (a commercial accommodation address). I first ordered lesbian and Lolita-type materal I knew was child pornography. I enclosed cash with this order, and after about a week I received through the ppst the material I had ordered. Between July 1985 and up to January 1986 I corresponded with Oliver Brooke, regularly ordering child pornography from him. The material I exhibit as follows:

One envelope…which contains 140 photographs of child pornography. One brown envelope…containing 108 photographs of child pornography. One brown envelope….which contains 38 photographs of child pornography. One brown envelope…which contains 16 photographs of child pornography. The above exhibits I received at my request from Oliver Brooke…having paid approximately £45 for each order. I sent cash each time. Lastly I exhibit a white folder which I originally received through the post in a brown envelope. This folder did contain pictures of child pornography and written on it is: “There are plenty more available”.

The statements from Wilson and Jones tell much the same story, adding only details of trips around the country which Brooke made to buy and sell the material.

But the evidence of his paedophilia went further. Brooke had commissioned a Blackpool property developer and part-time photographer called Christopher Hilton to take indecent photographs of under-age girls. Some of these he returned to Hilton with instructions and guidance written on the back for future reference:

‘Very nice, but not quite enough crotch.’ Nice, but I think this would be ideal if she was dressed in the schoolgirl costume and if she placed her hands beneath her thighs as if to help hold them apart.’

By the time officers from TO13 caught up with Brooke he had been buying and selling child pornography for at least a decade. Sentencing him, Mr Justice McCowan noted: ‘This is a trade disgusting in itself, but the court also has to bear in mind that anyone playing a part in it is contributing to the corruption of children, and may well be causing adults to commit serious offences against children.’ Six months later Lord Lane, the Lord Chief Justice, took a different view, in the appeal court:

The circumstances of the case are truly extraordinary in the literal meaning of the term, because the appelant is a man of the higest reputation in the medical world as a Consultant Paediatrician. One only has to glance at the great bundle of testimonials which are before the Court to realise that that reputation has been hard won: a reputation enjoyed not only amongst the students and perhaps even more importantly amongst the members of the public who may have been lucky enough to have his skills applied to their children…

An investigation carried out by police…revealed that in his professional office was contained a large quantity of pornographic indecent photographs of young girls. It emerged…that for reasons which it is hard to gauge this man over the years had amassed a huge and minutely documented and indexed collection of this type of photograph…

The possession needs no further explanation. The distribution was on a very limited scale. It is not inappropriate, perhaps, in view of the puerility of this type of behaviour, to compare it ather to a schoolboy collecting cigarette cards in olden times, because the duplicates were handed on to other adults – three or four of them only – who were likewise minded to indulge in this sort of puerility.

Lane went onto outline the suffering, financial and professional, which Brooke had endured while in prison, and then announced a reduction in sentence from twelve to six months. And since the paediatrician had already been in prison for six months, Lane promptly freed him.

Superintendent Iain Donaldson and his officers at TO13 might have wished to address the Lord Chief Justice on the wisdom of his remarks. They were not given the chance. Neither Lane’s office, nor Brooke’s defence lawyers, felt it necessary to inform Scotland Yard that the appeal was being heard. One of the officers recalls:

We couldn’t believe it, we just could not believe it. This bastard was a very active child pornographer. He had been buying and dealing for years. He had refused to talk about his contacts here or abroad. He had to be rated a risk, a dangerous man. Yet the Lord Chief Justice of England opened the gate and waved him goodbye. It was an absolutely appalling decision.

For more examples of the British Establishment protecting wealthy and connected paedophiles, read Geoffrey Dickens, the doctor, and the vicar

  1. @murun just a few things hope you didn’t mind me posting the hunt for British paedos link..after watching two episodes of this astonishing documentary i felt strongly enough to share it.
    Secondly the term ‘ child pornography’ has never seemed right to me. Pornography suggests the subjects involved gave consent. And to be honest carries that grubbiness token. As far as i am concerned its child sex abuse.

  2. 33hertz said:

    Many thanks to Tim Tate and murun for this additional information. No wonder the police were appalled at Lord Lane’s verdict.

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