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Tuesday 1 July 2003 5.36pm
Mel's lurid description of the old Spanner case is largely accurate. These men did things that most SM/fetish fans would never do. (I certainly wouldn't do such things if you paid me.) However, the point is that they were consenting adults and no harm as done. (Nobody required any medical treatment.) The point is not that the things the man did were fairly extreme. The point is that we should all leave each other in peace unless we harm each other. And these guys did no harm to Mel, nor to anyone else. What they did is none of his business.

The assertion that child porn was involved is a new one on me. I was involved in the case for some years and am doubtful about this. Certainly our legal team never mentioned it. If Mel is right, then that is of course highly illegal and wrong in every way. But there are already strict laws about that and we should not confuse paedophilia with SM sex between adults.

I would certainly never suggest that a bit of dressing up and light spanking is all that goes on in SM sex. Many 'players' do go much further, as Mel says. (Though rarely as far as the Spanner guys.) Again, though, so long as it's between sane adults, it is no business of Mel's.

Again we return to whether, because someone dislikes a particular form of sexuality, he has the right to ban others from practising it. So long as we do not harm others and everyone is an adult, etc., etc, then he clearly does not. If someone tries to link SM sex with peadophilia and wife-beating, then he is no more or less than a crank.

Here's an unsubstantiated rumour for you - One of the anti-Wicked brigade is said to have recently phoned the club asking to take children onto the premises to see some robot figures in the bar. The idea was to hope that a kindly staff member would let them in - and then be able to say that Wicked had let children into a sex club and get them into trouble. As mentioned in an earlier post, there is an element of nastiness about these people.



Tim Woodward
Tuesday 1 July 2003 5.45pm
Tim reports "One of the anti-Wicked brigade is said to have recently phoned the club asking to take children onto the premises to see some robot figures in the bar. The idea was to hope that a kindly staff member would let them in - and then be able to say that Wicked had let children into a sex club and get them into trouble. As mentioned in an earlier post, there is an element of nastiness about these people."
This was not me nor anyone I know

And to Charles Simon: have been, have done, will be.
Tuesday 1 July 2003 10.12pm
I would just like to point out to Mel Allen that my comments were of a personal nature and related to SM in general, rather than to the existence of Wicked in particular. Therefore, what I do for a living, and the company I work for, is of no consequence.

I do not appreciate being 'outed' in this fashion, to the extent that someone could now fairly easily find out the address that I work at.

I used my real name in the message as I felt it was an important point and something I feel strongly about. Now I wish I had used a fake name as it would have put me at less of a personal risk.

Oh, and equating SM with domestic violence yet again shows how little you understand the term consent. By staying with an abusive partner, a woman (or man for that matter) is in no way consenting to violence that may be inflicted on them. It really does your standpoint no good by being so obviously obtuse and insulting.
Wednesday 2 July 2003 8.26am
Tim says "The assertion that child porn was involved is a new one on me. I was involved in the case for some years and am doubtful about this. Certainly our legal team never mentioned it."

Considering he helped raise funds for Messers Laskey, Jaggard & Brown to appeal their convictions through the House of Lords and twice at the European court, I find Tim's apparent lack of knowledge of the case staggering.

At the 92 appeal Mr Laskey's sentence was reduced to 18 months' imprisonment for aiding and abetting keeping a disorderly house. This sentence was to run concurrently with another three months' sentence for various counts of assault and consecutively with six months' imprisonment for the possession of an indecent photograph of a child.

And from the judgment of the Lord Chief Justice:
'They [Laskey and Cadman] recruited new participants: they jointly organised proceedings at the house where much of this activity took place; where much of the pain inflicting equipment was stored. Cadman was a voyeur rather than a sado-masochist, but both he and Laskey through their operations at the Horwich premises were responsible in part for the corruption of a youth "K"'

The Spanner trials may well be history but they are still relevant. It was there that the law was clarified that consent is not a valid defence for charges of assault because it is impossible to be certain that consent has truly been given.

Wednesday 2 July 2003 8.44am
To Mel Allen

Let me know the date of the hearing.
I am interested.



And to Charles Simon: have been, have done, will be.
Wednesday 2 July 2003 9.06am
Date of hearing is expected to be set on Monday, July 7
Wednesday 2 July 2003 10.05am
Mel: Please don't take this the wrong way, but there appears to a bystander to be a disturbing level of voyeurism in your activities. Nothing would give me less pleasure than to visit the Club! I have much better things to do with my time.
Wednesday 2 July 2003 11.07am
Mel Allen's assertion that the Spanner case is still relevant is partly true - but I'm glad to say that other cases have altered the case law since then - see earlier postings. So UK law was not clarified by Spanner for long, thank goodness.

I was very glad to help fight the injustices of the Spanner case. If, as Mel claims, one of the defendants also possessed an indecent photo of a minor, that is a side issue and I would not support the defendant on that,of course. SM sex and sex with minors are not related and there is certainly no causal connection.

Concerning the Wicked club in SE1, Mel says to Charles that he has been to Wicked, seen something illegal, told the police and plans to appear in court. Mel's dedication to stopping adults enjoying their sexuality behind closed doors in SE1 is obsessive. Did he dress up in rubber and pretend to be a fetishist, while earnestly watching out for some illicit act in a dark corner? Everyone needs a hobby, but this is unhealthy.

One hopes that Mel may not be able to do lasting harm, though. As police and prosecutors know well, you will always find some illegal act in any club or pub if you search long enough and hard enough. In any club in London, you will occasionally see an occasional joint - or a snog turn into more in a dark corner. It was ever thus and it does not necessarily indicate that organised depravity is taking place. Actually, people today are more conservative than in the past. You should have been around when I was a kid in the 'sixties - Mel would have had a field day!

Moral crusaders (and the tabloid papers) will always use these tactics - to sneak in where people are having fun and try to work up a spicy story. Real personal harm can be done. One friend of mine lost his teaching job after spanking his wife in their own home on their tenth wedding anniversary party. I can't blame Mel for this one (it was the Sunday Mirror that time) but I still blame the undercover 'journalist' and hope that Nemesis will overtake her one day

Imagine sneaking into any London gay club in Mel's 'undercover cop' style. Would you see any illicit acts behind the closed doors? I bet you would - these lads know how to have fun, you know. What about sneaking into the neighbouring cathedral, too? Organised religion has sponsored such dreadful harm over the ages. We could preted to be Christians (carry Cliff Richard albums?) but secretly search out the sinners and criminals whom the Church is supposed to welcome.

Happily, the police and courts are often sensible enough to recognise this sort of nonsense as the worthless spite that it is. A few years ago, Kensington and Chelsea police got very fed up with a moral crusader constantly complaining about a swingers' club in the area. He just had a bee in his bonnet about that type of sex. (A bit like someone we know?) The officers had to respond to him politely and visit the club - but they used to secretly phone the organiser first and let her know they were coming, giving her time to make sure everyone was well behaved.

This is important - the police and courts are there to fight serious, evil crimes. They are not there to have their time wasted pandering to those seeking to attack the sexuality (or race or religion etc.) of their neighbours

I went along to Wicked the other day. There were no minors present. The people were friendly. You could have taken a broad-minded elderly aunt there. The outfits might have been a bit odd - but no odder than the purple frock worn by the clergyman passing by into the cathedral.

There is nothing intrinsically evil in SM sex, nor in fetish clubs. Good luck to Wicked on the 7th. May they join the gays, the churches, the ethnic groups and all the rest of us, as just another part of the varied life that makes London such a great town



Tim Woodward
Wednesday 2 July 2003 1.15pm
Will witnesses on July 7th give evidence before the council on oath?
Thursday 3 July 2003 12.12pm
The hearing on Monday is at Camberwell Green Magistrates court. The hearing is to set the date(s) to consider the Police's applications to revoke the liquor licenses. Naturally any witnesses called would be expected to affirm or swear an oath.

The Sheridan's application to the council for a sex licence is pencilled in for July 31. That hearing will be before the council's licensing panel and not in a law court so I would doubt that witnesses would be on oath.
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