Two officials of the Paedophile Information Exchange, Peter Bremner and David Joy, were tried in November 1984 on charges relating to the distribution of PIE’s magazine. Steven Smith, PIE’s leader, was due to face trial alongside them, but had absconded to Holland where he took refuge at the headquarters of the international paedophile network Spartacus.
Nine of the twelve charges against Bremner and Joy were dropped, including the most serious charge of ‘inciting people to have sex with children’. This is unbelievable, given that PIE’s entire purpose was exactly that. The two paedophiles escaped with very lenient sentences. Judge John Owen sentenced Joy, who had a previous conviction for sexually assaulting five young girls, to 18 months in jail; and Bremner, who had a previous conviction for sexually assaulting three young boys, to just 6 months.
The paedophiles’ defence barristers successful objected to four female jury members, presumably because they were even more likely than men to be utterly disgusted by the men in the dock, resulting in an all-male jury. The barristers also unsuccessfully objected to a man with young children being on the jury, as they would have ‘considerable difficulty in trying a case like this fairly’.
The ultimate responsibility for the weak sentences lies with Judge John Lane, who gave in to the defence barristers’ demands.
This was a different judge to the Lord Chief Justice, Geoffrey Dawson Lane, who compared images of child abuse to ‘collecting cigarette cards’, but there wasn’t much difference between them when it came to protecting paedophiles.
Daily Express, 15th November 1984