Gays join PIE fight (24.09.77)

The Guardian, 24th September 1977



  1. Troyhand said:

    March 18th, 1982

    Sir Peter Hayman named in “porn” case

    Sir Peter Hayman, the 66-year-old former High Commissioner in Canada, was formerly named in the Commons today as the diplomat referred to in Old Bailey child pornographic trial. This was in two questions tabled by Tory MP Mr Geoffrey Dickens of Huddersfield West, last night, in which he asked the Attorney-General Sir Michael Havers, “if he will prosecute Sir Peter Hayman under the Post Office Acts for sending and receiving pornographic material through the Royal Mail.” Today Sir Michael Havers attacked Mr Dickens for his motion saying: “This should never have happened. There cannot be any justification for it.” The attorney-General explained that Sir Peter Hayman and nine other men who were questioned about posting of obscene material were never prosecuted following a decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions. Sir Michael backed this decision and said: “Absolutely nothing at all has been achieved in naming a man who has been retired for the last seven years. All Mr Dickens has done is made certain that Sir Peter Hayman’s shame will be known to the world.”

    166 Fifth Avenue
    New York, NY 10010

  2. Troyhand said:

    The press

    Bunter gets a thwacking

    Paul Johnson

    ‘A pitiful affair’, intoned The Times. ‘A dismal outcome of a dismal episode,’ wailed the Guardian. ‘These are bad days for Britain’, agreed Peregrine Worsthorne in the Sunday Telegraph: ‘Not only are the Augean Stables full of dirt, but even the cleansing brooms turn out to be riddled with worms.’ Oh I don’t know. There are plenty of foreigners who envy us our high-quality scandals. Returning from a brief visit to Washington last week, I noticed the eagerness with which American fellow-travellers Pounced on our screaming headlines at London Airport. ‘You people certainly produce real characters,’ said one admiringly. Actually he was eyeing a photo of Mr Brocklebank-Fowler, looking like a poor man’s Rex Harrison playing Professor Higgins. Then there was Sir Peter Hayman, absolutely made for Carry On Diplomacy.

    As for Mr Geoffrey Dickens, known to NIPs as ‘Bunter’ but as ‘Snoopy’ to his partner in what the Sunday Mirror calls ‘sex romps, (‘the main problem was the bed — it was only about three feet wide’) — is he not straight from the pages of Room at the Top? Not worm-riddled at all. Alan Watkins, in the Observer, calls him ‘an appalling person — appalling in general, I mean, not merely in relation to the present case’. Personally I rather warm to this ex-boxer ‘business consultant’, who is capable of telling a press-conference: ‘I’m getting out of the way. I have two angry sons after me’. As Chesterton said, why shouldn’t fat men fall in love? The Daily Express revealed that his ‘beamed 17th-century farmhouse’ had once ‘belonged to the poet Wordsworth’s family’, and the New Standard published one of his love-poems in full: nothing fancy, to be sure, just solid meat-and-potatoes stuff, but quite impressive when read aloud in a Yorkshire accent. John Braine would never have dared to invent that bit. The truth is that we Northerners are a romantic lot, despite the jeers of folk who’ve never stuck their noses beyond Doncaster Bridge.

    As a matter of fact the Dickens-Hayman affair testified to the extraordinary variety of viewpoints in Fleet Street and the noisy absence of monopoly opinion. There’s no such thing, Mr Worsthorne angrily pointed out, as the ‘quality’ papers closing ranks these days: another ambassador’s affair with a Russian chambermaid had been exposed not, he reminded us, `by the so-called gutter press’ but by ‘the highly prestigious Sunday Times, whose new editor prides himself on being an Establishment man par excellence’. The Sunday Times did, indeed, back Mr Dickens. While conceding that `Mr Dickens and moderation are strangers’, it thought that ‘he is not to be blamed for having published Sir Peter Hayman’s name’. That was also the view of The Times: `Mr Dickens was right to ventilate the matter’. ‘His populist instincts,’ the Daily Mail agreed, ‘have not played him false’. Not so, said the Guardian: Mr Dickens was ‘a tragic ass’; there were no ‘shreds of justification’ for his behaviour. ‘I do not believe Sir Peter Hayman should have been named,’ said Mr Watkins, and hoped ‘MPs will now curb the absolute privilege they possess,’ adding: ‘Some hope’. The Daily Telegraph thought Dickens may have been ‘right to raise the matter’ but could have done so ‘in an entirely effective way, without mentioning Sir Peter’s name’.

    Of course it really all depended — did it not? — on whether you thought there had been a cover-up. Here again there was disagreement. ‘There is no evidence,’ said the Daily Mail, `to suggest that this retired diplomat of moderate repute has been treated any differently, that is to say more leniently, than any other pathetic individual’. No, said the Sunday Mirror headline: ‘It Was a Cover-up’, to which the Sunday People gave echo: ‘Scandalous! The Cover-Up in High Places’. The Sunday Express thought Sir Michael Havers ‘has still a lot of questions to ask about the extraordinary anonymity afforded Sir Peter’, and the Guardian, while admitting it was not ‘the scandal of the century’ called the ‘courtesies from the law’ received by the diplomat as opposed to ‘scrap-merchants and tallow-chandlers,’ a ‘serious cause for disquiet and explanation’. Both the Sunday Telegraph and the Sunday Times had long articles on the legal complexities of the case, the first by four reporters, the second by seven. Was there a cover-up? The Telegraph concluded: ‘The consensus by the end of last week was that there had been something of the sort’. The Sunday Times was more definite: ‘It is difficult to escape the conclusions that in the judicial process Hayman received special treatment. He was the only one of those the police interviewed who had a pseudonym throughout the proceedings ‘ — and its editorial, to avoid further cracks from Mr Worsthorne, primly pointed out that working chaps suffered just as deeply as retired diplomats from such exposure: ‘Bus conductors have consciences. Meter men have neighbours’.

    Paedophilia, as expected, got stick all round. The Guardian commended ‘a thoughtful leader’ in the Daily Mirror for saying: ‘The Daily Mirror is a tolerant newspaper. But tolerance has its limit. AND THIS IS IT.’ But on its own account the Guardian sought to ‘wend a path between clear justice and witch hunt’. ‘Our view,’ it concluded, Is that Mr Tom O’Carroll should not have been sent to prison, nor. his co-defendants charged’. Mr Watkins in the Observer also found more reason to sympathise with Mr O’Carroll than with Sir Peter. O’Carroll had been convicted of ‘conspiracy to corrupt public morals’, which Watkins termed ‘a judge invented variety of bench-law that enables the courts to punish any activity of which they may disapprove. If Mr O’Carroll is to be punished, he should be punished for a specific and defined action’.

    Meanwhile, it’s back to normal (if that is the word) in some quarters. The Sunday People selling itself ‘The Paper that First Exposed the Vile Men’, headlined its front-page splash: ‘Top People Escape Child Porn Scandal’, and the News of the World, which also claimed ‘How we exposed the menace — and started a police probe’, ran its lead story under the banner: ‘Child Sex Ring Goes Back into Business’. It quoted a police officer engaged on the PIE case: ‘The network of child porn is spreading and must spell danger to children. Parents are right to protest when evil men escape punishment’.

  3. Troyhand said:,2574064
    Lodi News Sentinel – 23 March 1981
    British aristocrats stung once again by scandal

    LONDON (UPI) – Once again a scandal involving sex, politics and security has touched the British ruling class. And once again the question has been asked: “Was there an establishment cover-up?”

    Last week, Geoffrey Dickens, a flamboyant legislator, named retired diplomat Sir Peter Hayman as a member of a child pornography ring known as the Paedophile Information Exchange.

    During a trial leading to the jailing of one of the ring’s organizers, the diplomat had been referred to only by the pseudonym Peter Henderson, under which he allegedly sent and received pornographic material through the mail.

    Hayman, Britain’s former ambassador to Canada who also had held sensitive defense posts, said in a statement issued through his lawyer he had never been approached, blackmailed or subjected to pressure.

    And Attorney General Sir Michael Havers said he declined to prosecute Hayman, partly because “the correspondence had been contained in sealed envelops passing between adult individuals in a non-commercial context and that none of the material had been solicited.”

    But Dickens replied, “I still think there has been a cover-up and I am writing to the attorney general, asking him to resign.”

    He then acknowledged “a skeleton in my closet” and revealed to a news conference – and his shocked wife – that he was having an affair with a 43-year-old divorcee, a fact gleefully pounced upon by the popular press which splashed the story under such headlines as “My secret life by porn case MP.”

    One question raised in this case was whether Dickens should have used his parliamentary immunity against prosecution for libel to name Hayman.

    “It is a pitiful affair, but Dickens was right to ventilate the matter,” The Times commented. The decision to conceal Hayman’s identity behind a pseudonym when other people involved in the obscene correspondence were identified “was an error, fueling the suspicions of special treatment for a man in public life,” the newspaper said.

    The Hayman case was the latest in a chain of “establishment” scandals stretching back to the John Profumo case of the early 1960s and including the affair of Sir Anthony Blunt.

  4. Troyhand said:
    Daily Mail – 22 March 2014
    Second top judge faces probe over ‘defence’ of paedophiles after links with controversial campaign group are exposed

    •Chief Coroner Peter Thornton faces probe by judicial watchdog
    •Thornton criticised the prosecution of the leader of the paedophile group

    The second senior judge exposed as a defender of paedophiles’ rights is also now under investigation.

    Peter Thornton, the Chief Coroner for England and Wales, faces a probe by the judicial watchdog after comments uncovered by The Mail on Sunday.

    He will not sit as a judge in criminal cases while the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office looks into what he said about child sex campaigners while head of a controversial civil liberties organisation.

    As a barrister, Mr Thornton criticised the prosecution of the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) after its leader was jailed.

    And while chair of the National Council of Civil Liberties (NCCL), he then wrote to a paedophile saying: ‘Our policy .  .  . is a reduction in the age of consent to 14.

    As a barrister, Mr Thornton criticised the prosecution of the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) after its leader was jailed.

    And while chair of the National Council of Civil Liberties (NCCL), he then wrote to a paedophile saying: ‘Our policy .  .  . is a reduction in the age of consent to 14.

    Civil liberty: the Liberty/NCCL guide
    Malcolm Hurwitt, Peter Thornton, National Council for Civil Liberties (Great Britain)

    Penguin, 1989 – Political Science – 344 pages

    Peter Thornton is a barrister specializing in criminal and civil liberty cases. He is a trustee of the Civil Liberties Trust and a past chairman of NCCL. He is the author of a number of NCCL’s publications, including: The Rights of Suspects, Trial or Error, We Protest – The Public Order Debate, The Civil Liberties of the Zircon Affair and Decade of Decline: Civil Liberties in the Thatcher Years. He is also author of Public Order Law.

  5. Troyhand said:
    Legal Action: The Bulletin of the Legal Action Group – 1994

    [Page 24]

    the role of the lawyer in the criminal justice system
    Saturday 26 March in the Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane
    Leading lawyers explore the conflicting roles and expectations of the
    prosecution and the defence in the face of challenge and change.
    Lord Runciman, Chairman of the Royal Commission on Criminal
    Justice, will open the conference. It will then look at two issues:

    The CPS: caught in the middle?
    Barbara Mills QC (DPP), Helen Grindrod QC (barrister and recorder),
    Malcolm Duxbury (solicitor & CPS agent) and
    Chief Superintendent Anthony Howlett-Bolton.
    Moderator: Peter Thornton QC

    The defence lawyer: out to win?
    Mr Justice Mitchell, Tony Edwards (solicitor), Anthony Hooper QC,
    Gordon Etherington {Chief Crown Prosecutor} and an
    ACPO representative. Moderator: Geoffrey Robertson QC.

    Fees for the day: £20 for non-members of JUSTICE, £15 for members,
    and £10 for students/pupils. Lunch is available: £8.,+Helen+Grindrod+QC+(barrister+and+recorder)%22&dq=%22Barbara+Mills+QC+(DPP),+Helen+Grindrod+QC+(barrister+and+recorder)%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=V1suU9DmJcnf0QHp04HgDQ&ved=0CC0Q6AEwAA

    [Page 4]

    Liberty last month celebrated its 60th anniversary with a party at the café in the crypt of St Martin’s in the Fields where its first meeting was held in 1934. Celebrants heard from Peter Thornton QC, chair of the Civil Liberties Trust, Patricia Hewitt, Liberty general secretary for 10 years, and from 92-year-old Sylvia Scaffardi who co-founded the organisation with Ronald Kidd sixty years ago and told of Liberty’s earliest campaign against fascism.

  6. Troyhand said:'s+Buildings+(chambers+of+Emlyn+Hooson%22&dq=%22Peter+Thornton+has+moved+to+1+Dr+Johnson's+Buildings+(chambers+of+Emlyn+Hooson%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=kNEuU7PsM4Tl0QH2y4G4Bw&ved=0CDEQ6AEwAQ
    The Legal Executive, Volume 14
    Butterworths, 1976

    Peter Thornton has moved to 1 Dr Johnson’s Buildings (chambers of Emlyn Hooson, QC) (tel 01-353-9378; the clerk is M Essex.

    [Baron Emlyn Hoosen represented Ian Brady]

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