By Geoffrey Robertson
In the summertime of '61 John Profumo, Minister for conflict, loved a short affair with Christine Keeler... past due within the afternoon of Wednesday 31 July 1963, Dr Stephen Ward used to be convicted on the previous Bailey on counts alleging that he lived at the gains of a prostitute. He was once now not within the dock yet comatose in medical institution. the former evening he had tried suicide, simply because (as he stated in a observe) 'after Marshall's [the judge's] summing up, I've given up all hope'. He died on Saturday three August, with out regaining realization. Many observers of the court cases proposal the convictions didn't mirror the facts and that the trial was once unfair, and this ebook will express that it breached uncomplicated criteria of justice. Geoffrey Robertson brings his forensic talents and a deeply felt feel of injustice to the case on the center of the Profumo affair, the infamous scandal that introduced down a central authority.
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Extra resources for Stephen Ward Was Innocent, OK: The Case for Overturning His Conviction
The pass judgement on expressly declined to offer it any obstacle – ‘in half’ intended in any half – ‘if just a fraction of his source of revenue used to be produced during this means it might be sufficient’. fifty two this can't be correct: English legislation adopts, as an issue of statutory development, the main de minimis non curat lex, the legislation doesn't predicament itself with trifles or, for that subject, with fractions. The judge’s interpretation of ‘in half’ ends up in the absurdity that accepting a couple of cash for the fuel meter, or a couple of kilos in hire, turns a prostitute’s cohabitee or landlord right into a pimp. ‘To dwell partly at the profits of prostitution’ needs to suggest ‘to dwell to some degree on’ or ‘to reside in major half’ – it can't suggest ‘to dwell within the tiniest fractional half on…’ ‘Living on’ profits includes the connotation of getting sufficient to survive from those gains, and ‘a half’ as contrasted with a complete is unquestionably no longer a trifling fraction. due to this misdirection, the jury may have inspiration they can convict Ward if Keeler and Rice-Davies gave him a number of pence in the direction of the phone invoice. it's absurd to assert expert guy incomes £4,000 from his perform and £1,500 from his portraiture (totalling £100,000 in today’s funds) used to be residing on their gains. This was once exactly the type of conviction that the Wolfenden Committee in its file on sexual offences had sought to prevent, since it may suggest that prostitutes might by no means knowingly be befriended or provided with simple prerequisites. It paraphrased ‘in complete or partially’ as residing ‘wholly or almost always’ at the tainted profits, that is evidently what Parliament intended whilst it handed part 30 in 1956. The pass judgement on made an important mistake of legislations, which should have had an impression at the jury simply because as soon as the prosecution proves girl is a prostitute and the defendant has assisted her alternate, part 30 throws the weight of proving that he's now not dwelling on her profits at the defence. So below the judge’s misdirection, the jury could have suggestion that Ward needed to turn out that he didn't obtain a fragment of Christine or Mandy’s hand-outs from the boys with whom that they had intercourse. this could clarify their differently inexplicable ‘guilty’ verdicts, and is a very compelling it is because they need to be overturned. 7. inadequate proof The convictions on Counts 1 and a pair of can't be sustained by means of the proof. rather except the misdirection approximately receiving a ‘fraction’ in their profits, there's a extra considerable attraction aspect – specifically that Ward used to be in truth blameless. The proof from all of the studies of the trial (and Ludovic Kennedy supplies a fairly complete account of each witness) was once inadequate to set up a hyperlink among the women’s funds to Ward and the foundation of the money of their profits from prostitution. Keeler, it really is actual, had no visible technique of aid (other than occasional charges from modelling) aside from the £50 from Charles, the £20 from Profumo and the £100 or so kilos in overall bought from Mr Eynan. yet she lived rent-free, obtained loans from Ward, and particularly stated that she paid him sometimes in basic terms to minimize her debt to him.