Walter Richard Leonard Cowell, Theodore Raymond John Mules Brown 1976 May 28 Court of Appeal

Please note that victims of abuse may be triggered by reading this information. The Sanctuary for the Abused [A] has advice on how to prevent triggers.  National Association for People Abused in Childhood [B] has a freephone helpline and has links to local support groups. Other useful sites are One in Four [C]  and Havoca [D]. Useful post on Triggers [E]  from SurvivorsJustice [F] blog. Jim Hoppers pages on Mindfulness [G]  and Meditation [H] may be useful.


Some reports have had victims names redacted and some assault details redacted.

This is a difficult balance-  normally I would think that  I should not “censor” details but on consultation with various people I have taken the decision to redact. This is mainly to protect victims, their friends and relatives from unnecessary detail and to stop the gratification of those who seek salacious details.

In addition to the obvious “victims redaction” I have thus “assault redacted” across most of the spectrum of abuse. This may obscure sometimes the legal reason for the appeal, but should make no large difference to the vital information for researchers that these documents contain. That information is mainly names of the perpetrators, past addresses, the actual charges the perpetrators faced – on which newspapers are pathetically inaccurate and this information enables the links between people and places and abuse at various times to be ascertained.

If you think that the balance is not correct or that a particular redaction needs reconsideration, please say.

For An Index / Timeline of Court Appeal Documents on Cathy Fox Blog [1]

This post is relevant to Paedophilia around Piccadilly Part 4- Playland Trial and Cover Up [2]

[1976] EWCA Crim J1125-2

No. 3187/A/76

No. 3211/A/76



Royal Courts of Justice

Thursday, 25th November 1976

Lord Justice Scarman

Lord Justice Shaw


Mr. Justice Thompson


Walter Richard Leonard Cowell


Theodore Raymond John Mules Brown

(From the Shorthand Notes of Cherer & Co. (incorporated with Walsh & Sons)
55-57 Clifford’s Inn, Fetter Lane, London, EC4A 1BU. Telephone Number:
01-242 7057. Shorthand Writers to the Court.)

MR. J. RANT appeared on behalf of the Appellant Cowell.

MR. J. GREAVES appeared on behalf of the Appellant Brown.


(As approved by Judge)

LORD JUSTICE SCARMAN : The Court has before it two appeals against
sentence, one by Walter Richard Leonard Cowell and the other by Theodore
Raymond John Mules Brown. The appeals arise out of sentences passed on
these appellants by Judge Buzzard at the Central Criminal Court on 28th May [1976]
this year. On that day these two appellants and another man named Clapp
were before the Court facing an indictment containing some fifteen counts
charging them severally with acts of indecency with boys and indeed the appellant Cowell
was charged with buggery on two occasions.

The appellant Cowell pleaded guilty to four counts, including two of buggery,
and was sentenced to a total of six years’ imprisonment. He was also in
breach of a probation order made by the Court on 5th April 1974, when he
was being dealt with for two offences of buggery. Judge Buzzard sentenced
Cowell to four years’ imprisonment for breach of that probation order and
made that term of four years consecutive with the six years on the offences
in the indictment with which he was dealing. Thus, at the end of the day the
appellant Cowell faced a total of ten years’ imprisonment.

The appellant Brown pleaded guilty to four offences of indecency with boys.
He was sentenced to a total of three years’ imprisonment. Their co-accused,
Clapp, pleaded guilty to three offences of indecent assault upon boys, he
was dealt with some weeks later by Judge Buzzard and was placed on
probation for a period of three years.

It will be obvious at once therefore that the Judge thought that the three
offenders he had to sentence in regard to the matters contained in this
indictment were appropriately dealt with at very different levels of
severity. The sentence upon the appellant Cowell must be regarded, upon any
view of the matter, as a very severe sentence indeed. The sentence upon the
appellant Brown must be regarded as a severe sentence, though well within
the bracket to be found in the sentences passed by Courts from time to time
for this class of offence. The co-accused Clapp may well be thought to have
been an extremely fortunate man to have retained his liberty and to have
been placed on probation.

Before I come to consider the two appeals with which this Court is now
concerned, let me say that the Court is greatly indebted to counsel for the
way in which the two appeals have been conducted. Everything that could be
and ought to be said on behalf of each of these appellants has been said.

The gravity of these offences was summed up in the intervention made by my
Lord, Lord Justice Shaw, in the course of argument; it is that these men
were gratifying themselves with boys. It is true that some of the boys were
already corrupted. It is not certain that they all were. But, be that as it
may, the corrupted boy is just as much in need of protection by society,
indeed might be considered to be more in need of protection by society, as is his better
placed, better behaved, contemporary. It does not help in the slightest
degree in cases of this sort to point to the factor that the boy is corrupt
unless that factor is associated with other circumstances pointing strongly
towards the possibility of mitigation.

When one comes to consider in detail the case of the appellant Cowell, one
observes that on 5th April 1974, as I have already mentioned, he was placed
on probation for offences of buggery; and one observes inevitably that the
offences with which the present indictment was concerned, in respect of
which he has received a sentence of six years, occurred while he was on

The first question which one is bound to ask oneself is, whether the Judge
acted correctly in imposing so severe a sentence for breach of a probation
order, and making it consecutive to a severe sentence passed for the
offences charged before him.

This of course is only one of the matters that the Court has to consider,
since at the end of the day, in reviewing the sentence of ten years, it is
the totality of the sentence with which the Court is concerned.
Nevertheless, because of the severity of the sentence passed for the
breach of the probation order, we thought it necessary to look at the
nature of the offence for which in 1974 Cowell was placed on probation. It
is extremely unfortunate that, when one does, one discovers that he was
then committing buggery with a boy aged 13. It may well be that the boy was
already a corrupt boy. But it is significant, and not to be overlooked,
that it was indecency – buggery in fact – with a boy which the Court was
considering in 1974 and in respect of which the Court took the very lenient
course of placing him on probation.

When one comes to consider the offences in the indictment for which he
received six years, one finds that in each case it was with boys, sexually
experienced perhaps, but nevertheless with boys. They are serious offences
and they are offences exactly in character with those two for which he was
placed on probation in 1974.

Mr. Rant for the appellant has first of all submitted that notwithstanding
the gravity of the offences, which he realistically accepts, a total of ten
years was too long. He points to the medical and social enquiry reports
from which it emerges that this
appellant is an honest and straightforward person but suffers from impulses
which lead him not merely to homosexuality – that is not the sting of the
matter – but to indecency with teen-aged boys, he says that there was no
deliberate defiance of authority in committing the breach of probation. He
was not flouting the Courts or the probation officer. He was yielding to
impulses which he finds it really quite impossible to control without
medication. Unfortunately the medication which Cowell was receiving to
control and damp down his sexual impulses, was found to have side effects
creating lethargy and a depressed state of mind and feeling in which a man
may well fail to resist a temptation which is always with him. The drug, so
it is said, so far from curing him led him into a state of mind and feeling
in which it was more difficult for him to resist temptation.

The case of course is a tragic one as well as one of some social
importance. We have come to the conclusion that this particular sentence
has to stand. It has to stand because the total history to which I have
made a brief reference, is really one of the utmost gravity. Boys, corrupt
or uncorrupt, have to be protected. Society, if it is to be wholesome, has
to ensure that they are protected. There is only one way in which the Courts
can assist, and that is by passing sentences in cases of this sort which
are appropriate to the protection of society. Sometimes it will be possible
to take the lenient course of probation with a condition for treatment. On
other occasions it may be necessary not only to put the offender out of
harm’s way for a substantial period of time but by way of a deterrent to
mark society’s disapproval of conduct corrupting the young.

It is plain that the Judge paid very great attention to all these matters
when dealing with the three men who were in front of him. He was well aware
that there are cases in which it is possible to make a probation order.
Indeed he made one in respect of Clapp. He was also well aware that
unfortunately there are cases in which severity is the only course to take.
He reached that view in respect of the appellant Cowell. The fact that he
came to deal with Brown and Clapp so differently from the way in which he
dealt with Cowell is an indication that he came to this problem with an
absolutely open mind, considering all possible alternatives before
deciding that which no doubt he found himself reluctant to do, namely to
impose a sentence of great severity.

We do not think it possible to suggest, in those circumstances, that the
sentence on Cowell was excessive or that it erred in principle. We think
that the sentencing Judge, faced with these three men, exercised his
sentencing discretion only after a very full consideration of everything
appertaining to the three cases.

It is of course a comment which one may make in passing, that the new
medication, which is now said to be available for men of this sort, which,
so far as is known, does not have the side effects of the old drugs, can be
administered in prison where a man is out of harm’s way as well as in
hospital. There is nothing therefore in these sentences which makes medical
treatment impossible. Indeed it may be that in the disciplined environment
of an institution such as a prison, more consistent treatment is possible
than in freedom, where ultimately one has to depend upon the man’s
willingness to keep his medical appointments for the treatment to succeed.

We have come to the conclusion therefore that the sentence on the appellant
Cowell was correct. I would add one comment in regard to the four years
sentence consecutive for the breach of the probation order. The appellant
was being sentenced for the offences which were before the Court in 1974.
We thought it necessary therefore to call for the papers dealing with the
offences. All that is necessary to observe is that they were offences with
a teen-age boy.

For all those reasons the sentence of Cowell of ten years must stand.

The case of Brown is in many ways a different case, he received a total
sentence of three years. There was no element of buggery in the offences
committed by Brown. They were offences committed with boys whom he paid,
but there is one boy amongst them who was as young as 11. It is a
significant fact that the appellant Brown did have a key to Clapp’s flat
which meant that he had a resort to which he could take the boys and there
masturbate himself on and with them.

Mr. Greaves, for Brown, first of all submits that the total is too much. He
accepts that a sentence of three years for these offences is well within
the so called bracket. He has referred the Court to
* R. v. Willis * (1975) 1 Weekly Law Reports 292 .

We would make one comment with regard to that authority. The Court was at
pains to point out that in matters of sentencing the Judge is not to be put
into any straightjacket. Sentencing is the art of doing within thelaw what
is appropriate for the particular case before the Court and any further
generalisation is apt to cause difficulties in the administration of
justice. The question therefore is whether, in the case of Brown, this
sentence of three years was appropriate, i.e. neither erred in principle
nor was excessive in all the circumstances.

There is much to be said on his behalf. He has committed homosexual
offences before, but a long time ago. In recent years, he has been living a
perfectly satisfactory and, so far as one can see, successful domestic and
working life, he married many years ago. He has two sons and two daughters.
The Consultant Psychiatrist, who has considered his case, reports that the
wife, when interviewed, says that initially it was a happy marriage but it
is possible that her husband’s homosexual activities restarted when she
paid a visit to Africa with her youngest child. Then tragically, but not
surprisingly, the marital relationship, especially its sexual side, became
increasingly affected.

Again, it is tragic, but no doubt absolutely true, that Brown himself
insists that the twenty years period, during which he kept his homosexual
impulses under control and made a success of his married life, was the
happiest time in his life. But now there is this course of offences,
supervening, be it noted, after the age of 55, a difficult time sexually in
the lives of many men who have deviant weaknesses such as Brown.

Can one accede to the moving plea of mitigation for this man based upon his
personal circumstances and based upon his willingness to accept medical
treatment? We return to the sentence of the Judge. The Judge, as I have
said, had the possibility of probation well in mind, he had in mind all the
matters to which I have referred. He was prepared to consider probation in
respect of Clapp, but not in respect of the appellant Brown.

We have it urged upon us strongly by Mr. Greaves that we should look
closely at Clapp’s case to see whether there is an unacceptable
disparity in the treatment he received when contrasted with the sentence
imposed upon Brown. Is it such that in the interests of justice we should
interfere to mitigate in some way the sentence passed on his client Brown?

Clapp also is a man who many many years ago had a finding of guilt for
indecent offences with male persons. Indeed, Clapp does have a previous
conviction for buggery upon a boy. But it is to be observed that Clapp has
committed no criminal offence until this, for which he was dealt with,
since 1962 and the buggery offence to which I have referred was committed
as long ago as 1958. There are medical reports on Clapp as there are on the
other two men. They indicate that Clapp is never a prime mover in these
matters; he is very much a man who is led.

When Judge Buzzard came to deal with Clapp on 21st June, he said that he
thought that, in the very peculiar circumstances of Clapp’s case, he was
prepared to take a lenient course. The mere fact that the Judge felt able
to take the very lenient course of probation in Clapp’s case is in itself
no reason why a lenient course should be taken in Brown’s case. Disparity,
though a factor to be weighed when sentences are reviewed, is a very unsure
guide in itself to justice.

We respect the reasons given by the Judge for leniency in dealing with
Clapp’s case. Indeed as I have said in dealing with Cowell’s appeal, it is
clear from the very fact that one of these men was placed on probation,
that the Judge had under consideration all the courses open to him. We
would not infer from the lenient course taken in regard to Clapp that there
was any justification for requiring a lenient course to be taken in the
case of Brown. Since there is nothing excessive about three years for
offences of this sort and no error in principle in the term imposed, and
since, as I have already mentioned, these are grave offences involving
teen-aged children, the Court has to override the very moving plea an
personal grounds that can be adduced for leniency in respect of Brown and
uphold the total sentence passed.

For those reasons both these appeals are dismissed.

The Times

29th May 1976
A member of a West End vice ring was jailed for 10 years yesterday for sex
offences against boys. Judge John Buzzard said at the Central Criminal
Court that it had been suggested many boys became experienced male
prostitutes and sold their services in Piccadilly. But even if that was so,
they were entitled, like all other boys, to be protected, mainly from
themselves. Walter Richard Cowell, aged 45, a maintenance engineer,. of
Knightsbridge, admitted charges of indecent assault and other sexual
offences against boys under 15. John Brown, aged 55, from Kew, was jailed
for three years for indecently assaulting two boys.


Times 1976 May 29


Please note that victims of abuse may be triggered by reading this information. The Sanctuary for the Abused [A] has advice on how to prevent triggers.  National Association for People Abused in Childhood [B] has a freephone helpline and has links to local support groups. Other useful sites are One in Four [C]  and Havoca [D]. Useful post on Triggers [E]  from SurvivorsJustice [F] blog. Jim Hoppers pages on Mindfulness [G]  and Meditation [H] may be useful.



[1] Cathy Fox Blog 2015 May 8 [constantly updated] An Index / Timeline of Court Appeal Documents on Cathy Fox Blog

[2] 2015 May 6 Cathy Fox blog Paedophilia around Piccadilly Part 4- Playland Trial and Cover Up

[3] 1976 The Times May 29 West End vice Ring Man Jailed for 10 years

[A] Sanctuary for the Abused


[C] One in Four

[D] Havoca

[E] SurvivorsJustice Triggers post

[F] SurvivorsJustice Blog

[G] Jim Hopper Mindfulness

[H] Jim Hopper Meditation

This is all written in good faith but if there is anything that needs to be corrected please email

cathyfox the truth will out, the truth will shout, the truth will set us free

About cathy fox blog on Child Abuse

the truth will out, the truth will shout, the truth will set us free...
This entry was posted in #OpPaedoHunt, Child sexual abuse, Court, Judges Remarks, London, Paedophilia around Piccadilly and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Walter Richard Leonard Cowell, Theodore Raymond John Mules Brown 1976 May 28 Court of Appeal

  1. Pingback: Timeline of Court and Court of Appeal Documentation on Cathy Fox blog | cathyfox blog

  2. Pingback: Paedophilia around Piccadilly Part 4 Playland Trial and Cover up | cathyfox blog

  3. Pingback: Paedophilia around Piccadilly Part 5 1980s and Operation Circus | cathy fox blog

  4. Pingback: LONDON PAEDOPHILE RINGS – Operations & Who’s Who? – scepticpeg


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