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In 1986, the backbench MP Geoffrey Dickens reported allegations of ‘child brothels’ on a council estate in the London Borough of Islington. He said that he had received a letter and a tape recording from a resident of the Elthorne Estate claiming that adults on the estate were organising ‘wide-scale’ child abuse involving 40 children, some as young as seven.

Dickens was attacked by the MP for Islington North, Jeremy Corbyn, who said he was “getting cheap publicity at the expense of innocent children”. An Islington councillor called Alan Clinton defended the “decency” of Elthorne tenants, and the Islington Gazette ran a story claiming that the residents were furious about the “slur”. (Islington Gazette 21/02/86)

Dickens was unrepentant, and said he had more evidence and was more certain than ever about the truth of his allegations. (Social Work Today 24/02/86)

The folowing week the Islington Gazette published a letter attacking Geoffrey Dickens. It was from Roger Moody, of Liverpool Road, London N1 (Islington).

IG28286aAlthough he doesn’t declare it in his letter, Roger Moody was a prominent ‘paedophile activist’ and author of a book called Indecent Assault (1980) which defended paedophilia. From the back page:

In 1977, libertarian journalist and activist Roger Moody was arraigned on four charges of indecent assault and attempted buggery with a 10-year-old boy friend. This book traces the course of this case, from the initial police raid to a dramatic acquittal at the Old Bailey in March 1979.

By using extracts from a diary he kept over this two-year period, Roger Moody strikingly focusses the ambivalence he felt as someone charged with a “crime” he didn’t commit, but nonetheless doesn’t consider criminal.

But this book is only incidentally a defence of paedophilia. Rather it is an examination of the way in which patriarchal institutions – especially the police and courts – deny reciprocal, non-ageist relationships in order to perpetuate their own power

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