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Gay News 72, 5-18 June 1975

Shock Decision by Top Law Lord

SURREY: Peter Wells committed an act of buggery with a consenting adult in private.

And Peter Wells (27) is now serving a two and a half year prison sentence as a result. He received the sentence at the Old Bailey last September. In May, his appeal against sentence was heard in the Court of Criminal Appeal before Lord Justice James, Mr Justice May, and no less a person than Lord Chief Justice Widgery (pictured) – the highest-paid legal officer in the kingdom.

In the face of ‘a great many’ reports recommending Peter’s release from prison, and in spite of serious mistreatment at the hands of other prisoners to the extent that he had been placed in solitary confinement ‘for his own protection’ – in spite of this information, Lord Chief Justice Widgery answered his own rhetorical question whether prison was the right course by saying ‘we think it was’.

Why? Because the adults in question were 18 years old, entitled to drink, smoke, enter legal contracts, marry, arrange mortgages, vote, make Hire Purchase agreements – but not make love.

Peter was taken from the appeal court shouting at the judges ‘haven’t you had enough vengeance?’

Gay News Widgery

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