Court of Appeal 10 July 1974 William George Pottinger


This is unredacted.

The appeal was partially successful and in the result, the appellant is sentenced to serve four years’ imprisonment, instead of five.

This is related to the Poulson Affair.

For an Index /Timeline of Court Appeals on Cathy Fox Blog see [1]

[1974] EWCA Crim J0710-1

No. 876/R/74



Royal Courts of Justice

Wednesday, 10th July 1974

Lord Justice Edmund Davies

Lord Justice Scarman


Mr. Justice Kilner Brown


William George Pottinger

(From the Shorthand Notes of Cherer & Co., 34 Essex Street, Strand, London,
WC2R 3AT. Telephone Number: 01-583 4121. Shorthand Writers to the Court.)

MR. W.R. STEER, Q,C. and MR. G. RIVLIN appeared on behalf of the Appellant.

MR. J.F.S. COBB, Q.C., MR. P.M. TAYLOR, Q.C. and MR. F.J. MULLER appeared
on behalf of the Crown.


LORD JUSTICE EDMUND DAVIES : William George Pottinger appeals against his
conviction at Leeds Crown Court last February on seven criminal charges
-and applies for leave to appeal against sentences totalling five years. It
is a case about corruption born of greed and nurtured by deceit. Involving
as it does a high-ranking civil servant of outstanding ability and great
promise, it is of a type fortunately rare in this
country. The trial occupied more than ten weeks, and no criticism is made
of its conduct save in relation to the summing-up, which spread over four
days. It was a hostile summing-up, but we have no doubt that this arose
from the unattractive nature of the established facts, which spoke for
themselves, and not from any unwarranted personal view of Mr. Justice
Waller, who conducted a long and arduous case with skill and fairness. But
it has to be said that on the third day of his mammoth summing-up (that
being the fiftieth day of the trial) signs of weariness appear, and in
certainly one important passage, which must later be referred to, there is
a laxity of expression which, if considered in isolation, verges on
obscurity. The result has been that Mr. Steer, learned counsel for the
appellant, has found legitimate grounds for criticism. These he has
advanced in a manner all the more effective for its moderation, and the
Court desires to pay tribute to the superb quality of his presentation of
the appellant’s case.

In the first count in the indictment, Pottinger was jointly charged with an
architect named Poulson with conspiracy between April 1963 and January
1972, to commit corruption, the conspiracy alleged being that Poulson
should corruptly make and Pottinger corruptly receive “gifts and
considerations for the purpose of influencing the conduct of the said
William George Pottinger in relation to or by virtue of his employment by
the Crown”. This was followed by six pairs of charges of corruption
contrary to section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1906, the first
in each pair being against Poulson and the second against Pottinger, of
respectively giving or accepting corruptly the gifts particularised in each
count. Both accused were convicted on all the counts upon which they were
respectively arraigned. The Crown presented the specific counts as
specimens of a larger number of overt acts of the alleged conspiracy
spreading over nine years, counts 2 and 3 relating to the gift of a suit
and overcoat costing £167 in March 1964; counts 4 and 5 to a holiday in
Switzerland costing over £600 in December 1964; counts 6 and 7 to a
Hellenic cruise costing over £1,100 in August 1965; counts 8 and 9 to a
cheque for £1,650 given and accepted in April 1966; counts 10 and 11 to a
cheque for £2,000 in August 1968;

and counts 12 and 13 to the gift of a Rover motorcar in 1965. It was
established that during the years 1964 to 1969 inclusive, the appellant’s
net income totalled £21,973, whereas the value of the gifts he received
from Poulson during those years totalled more than £28,000, though, as many
of these gifts were fraudulently put down by Poulson as business expenses,
the actual cost to him was merely between £2,000 and £3,000.

The appellant now seeks to have set aside his convictions on the seven
counts upon which he was arraigned. His notice of appeal contains no less
than twelve grounds of appeal against conviction and a thirteenth in
relation to sentence. For the greater part, the former raise questions of
law, and as to these an appeal lies as of right. Others raise questions of
fact alone or questions of mixed fact and law, and in relation to these
leave to appeal is sought. What appeared the convenient course, and the one
adopted with the concurrence of all counsel, was for the whole case to be
presented on behalf of the appellant and for it to be replied to generally,
in so far as we thought it necessary to call upon the Crown, regardless of
the strict distinction between appeals and applications.

The case for the prosecution was that, although friendship of a sort had
grown up between the two men, it could not possibly explain frequent gifts
of such a lavish kind, and that Pottinger, being at all times an agent for
the Crown, received them well knowing that Poulson had corruptly given them
as an inducement or reward for showing him favour in relation to Crown
affairs. The Judge’s direction that, were this established, the charges
would be made out was rightly not challenged by the defence. The
prosecution claimed that on occasion some favour was shown, but that for
the most part the appellant led Poulson to believe he was taking steps to
secure favourable treatment for him although he in fact did nothing. While
the case for the prosecution is obviously clearer where the donee in fact
proceeds to do acts favouring the donor, we respectfully adopt the decision
of the Court of Appeal in * Regina v. Carr * (1957) 40 Criminal Appeal
Reports 188 , that the prosecution is not required to prove that the
recipient of a corrupt gift actually took steps to show or secure favour in
consequence of its receipt and retention.

The case for the defence was that the gifts resulted innocently from the
deep and close friendship which developed between the two men, The
appellant asserted that it never occurred to him that Poulson wanted him to
be disloyal to the Crown or to act contrary to his civil service duty; that
there were no “strings” attached to the gifts; that he frequently tried to
restrain Poulson’s generosity; and that he never did anything corrupt or
deceived Poulson into thinking he had.

The appellant joined the civil service in 1939, and from 1959 he was
seconded from the Scottish Office to the Scottish Tourist Board, headed by
Lord Fraser. Although his secondment ended in 1962, he continued to take an
interest in a project to develop Highland tourist areas. Early in 1963
Poulson, who practised in Pontefract, was introduced to Lord Fraser by a
Mr. Vincent, chairman of Bovis Ltd., as suitable to be appointed general
architect of the project, and in consequence the appellant and Poulson
first met on or about March 14th, the appeallant then, beyond doubt, acting
in an official capacity. Soon they were on Christian name terms, their
families met, and in November the Pottingers went to Stockholm with the
Poulsons and on their return stayed at the Dorchester Hotel, all at Poulson’s
expense. Early in 1964 the consortium of developers of the Highlands
holiday project selected a site at Aviemore and they formed a company,
Poulson being the principal architect and Bovis Ltd., the main contractors.
On December 1st, 1964, the appellant was appointed Assistant Secretary of
State and posted to the Scottish Office in London, spending about three
days a week there, and a Mr. Robertson took over his official duties in
relation to Aviemore. But before then the appellant had accepted from
Paulson the gift of an expensive suit and an overcoat (counts 2 and 3), his
wife and son had stayed at the Dorchester at Poulson’s expense, there were
arrangements for Poulson’s organisation to build a house for Pottinger, he
and his family had a holiday in Italy, he was supplied with a second suit
by the same Saville Row tailor, and Poulson had suggested that the
Pottinger family take a winter holiday in Switzerland, all this at Poulson’s

In the light of this unchallenged evidence, in our judgment the jury were
entitled to conclude that by the time the appellant
was posted to London in December 1964, the relationship between the two men
had already crystallised; that it to say, that Poulson was corruptly making
gifts to a civil servant who he regarded as likely to be useful to him in
his profession and for the purpose of inducing him to use his influence in
Poulson’s favour in relation to the Crown’s affairs, and, furthermore, that
Pottinger accepted and retained the gifts in the knowledge that they were
being made for this purpose. The appellant’s claim that he frequently
protested against Poulson’s “inexplicable generosity” (to use a phrase
employed in one of his letters of thanks) was, on the documents themselves,
so untenable that Mr. Steer found himself obliged to describe a letter from
Pottinger, passing on to Poulson for payment the bill for yet a third
Savile Row suit in 1966, as a ‘sponging letter’.

The particular relevance of the nature of the relationship of the parties
in December 1964, lies in the fact that Pottinger repeatedly said in
evidence that thereafter anything he did for Poulson was done in his
“private capacity” and one of the grounds of appeal is that the trial Judge
failed to make this line of defence clear to the jury. We disagree with
this submission on two grounds: First, the Judge repeatedly reminded the
jury of this assertion by the accused. And second, only in very exceptional
circumstances (if at all) would it be possible for an agent of the Crown,
such as a civil servant, to say that he was intervening in Crown affairs
simply as a private individual, and particularly where (as here) the
intervention is on behalf of someone he has met in his official capacity.
His standing in the civil service may well enable him to exert over others
in a Ministry or department other than his own influence which, although
unofficial, is none the less effective. The higher his standing, the
greater the likelihood of his having such influence, and there was evidence
that Poulson not unreasonably regarded Pottinger as possessing it and that
he was enlisting it long after December 1964. This Court respectfully
regards as correct the approach adopted in * Regina v. Dickenson & De
Rable * (1948) 33 Criminal Appeal Reports 5 , where Dickenson, a deputy
director of engine production in the Ministry of Aircraft Production was
alleged to have persuaded the representatives of a company manufacturing
small tools to pay him a commission on all orders coming to that company
two other companies. On Dickenson’s behalf it was submitted that he had not
acted as an “agent” within the meaning of the 1906 Act, in that he was
concerned with engines and not with small tools, and that therefore his
interference with small tools orders was not within the scope of his agency
as a civil servant. Upholding his conviction, the Court of Criminal Appeal
held that the test was whether the accused had used his civil service
position to get commission corruptly, Mr. Justice Pritchard saying (at page
9), “….. the words of section 1 of the Act of 1906 are designedly very
wide, and it would be undesirable in the extreme to narrow their meaning …”.

Although the evidence that Pottinger took steps to favour Poulson was very
thin, there was ample material entitling the jury to conclude that, well
after December 1964, Poulson was making requests (and about some of his
approaches a stronger noun could well be used) which would clearly have
involved the appellant’s using his civil service position to benefit his
friend and co-accused. This emerges from Pottinger’s own assertion that on
at least half a dozen occasions he protested that he could not do what was
being asked of hirn as it would have been improper. A striking example of
this is a letter dated October 29th, 1965 (Exhibit 164), in which Poulson
made four requests of the appellant, including asking him to persuade the
manager of the Aviemore project to act in a way favourable to Poulson.
According to the appellant, he told Poulson he could do nothing about them
(a protest which Poulson denied was ever made), for he could have complied
only if the proposed action would have been in the interests of Aviemore
and also only if he had disclosed his close friendship with Poulson and the
nature of the gifts he had received from that seemingly endless source.

Subject to one further point, it is therefore clear on the appellant’s own
showing that he realised that he was throughout their association being
asked to use his civil service influence on Poulson’s behalf in relation to
Crown affairs. Whether he should also have realised that the endless gifts
were being corruptly made to achieve such a result was a matter of
inference for the jury. Thus, to take but one example out of several of a
similar kind, they would have been entitled to have in mind that on
October 27th, 1965 (that is, two days before the letter last referred to
was sent), Poulson- had arranged for the Pottinger family to go on their
second Hellenic cruise (costing about £1,000) and had paid the necessary
deposit. Other instances of this chronological linkage between gifts and
requests by Poulson for Pottinger1s assistance emerged in the evidence. But
although the appellant himself roundly asserted in cross-examination, “I
had nothing to be ashamed of and nothing to hide”, Mr. Steer, inviting this
Court to ignore that answer, conceded that Pottinger had a great deal to be
ashamed of and to hide, but submittal that, even so, this did not, in all
the circumstances, betoken corruption. He was here adverting to the
existence of Estacode, a guide for civil servants, which makes direct
reference to the Prevention of Corruption Act, gives clear advice against a
civil servant’s accepting gifts from persons encountered in the course of
his official duties, and instructs that in cases of difficulty the civil
servant concerned should consult his superior officer. Evidence was given
by several witnesses concerned with the-Aviemore project that, had they
known of the relationship between Poulson and Pottinger and of the
munificence of the former, they would have reported the situation. The
appellant, who claimed never.- to have read Estacode, said he saw no reason
to tell those involved in Aviemore about the gifts, although he agreed he
owed them a duty of good faith.

Despite this assertion, his learned counsel advanced at the trial that the
appellant’s duplicity (for such on any basis, it clearly amounted to) was
explicable on the basis of his consciousness of breaches of the code and
did not necessarily point to participation in corruption. One of the
grounds of appeal is that the learned trial Judge never made this line of
defence clear, but instead repeatedly invited the jury to consider whether
a certain act of the appellant’s was “improper”, without stressing that for
the purposes of the criminal law a good deal more than consciousness of a
breach of Estacode had to be established by the Crown. What the submission
comes to is that, while every corrupt act is improper, every improper act
is not corrupt. It has to be said that this distinction could have been
brought out with greater clarity than it was, but the learned Judge began
his summing-up with a clear, accurate and
uncriticised direction regarding the ingredients of corruption, and he
ended it by reminding the jury that nothing less would justify a
conviction. And the effectiveness of the criticism of the summing-up in
this respect has to be assessed in the light of the evidence of the
accused’s own behaviour. In other words, while a certain amount of
suppression may connote no more than a desire to conceal a breach of
Estacode, elaborate devices resorted to in order to conceal the true state
of affairs even from those outside the civil service may point inexorably
to corruption. Here again it is sufficient to take by way of illustration
one example out of several. In February, 1964, it was decided that Poulson
would design and supervise the building of a house near Edinburgh for the
Pottingers, the architectural fees being waived. Eventually, ‘Pelicans’ as
the house was named, involved Poulson in paying out an additional £21,768,
but the means of payment adopted could not have been more devious. In
Poulson’s Edinburgh office was an architect, a Mr. Richardson, On May 9th,
1967, Poulson sent Pottinger a cheque for £3,500 and asked him to send a
like sum to Richardson immediately so that he could pay the builders; on
August 4th 1967, the same thing happened, but the cheque this time was
£4,150; On February 28th 1968, £3,000; and on August 9th, 1968, £2,000 (see
count 11). The result of all this was that at no time did Mr. Richardson
have any idea that when he received from Pottinger cheques to pay the
builders of his house the drawer had in fact been put in funds by
Richardson’s own employer. Different but equally remarkable devices were
resorted to in relation to the gift of the Rover car which is the subject
of count 13. When all this evidence was considered it would be difficult
for any reasonable jury to regard as conceivable that these ruses were
attributable simply to a desire to conceal breaches of Estacode — a line of
defence which, as we have already pointed out, was never adopted at the
trial by the appellant himself, but was advanced only by his counsel for
the jury’s consideration. We therefore conclude that this ground of appeal
is without substance.

We have previously indicated that many other grounds of appeal have been
raised, and most (though not all) were relied upon and developed before us.
Although we do not find it necessary to advert to all of them, we have
naturally sought to
give each that careful consideration which the gravity of the case demands.
We now turn to the one topic which, above all, has most exercised our
minds. It relates to two letters sent by Poulson to his solicitor, a Mr.
Grimwood, the first (Exhibit 325) on May 13th 1970, the second (Exhibit
327) on June 1st 1970. The former included the following words: “Mr. W.G.
Pottinger is the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, and it was through
him that we got the Aviemore job. He has three or four other jobs coming
out very soon, one as near as the beginning of next month in Scotland,
which he is directing towards us …. We built three schools for Edinburgh
and the cost of them exceeded the estimated cost by as much as the cost of
one primary school: I had to go and talk to the Secretary of Education in
the Scottish Office whom, fortunately, I have known for many years, thanks
to George Pottinger, and as a result of that visit, believe it or not, not
only was everything sorted out, but we are to receive from them £12,000 of
extra fees for an account we just had not dared to render ….”.

In the second letter, which the Crown described as constituting a clear
confession of corruption by Poulson, he wrote: As I have already explained,
Mr. Pottinger is an Under-Secretary of State in the Scottish Office, and
can influence a great many people to give us work, and it was he who
finally got extra fees for us on the Edinburgh Schools which came out
grossly over the original estimate

At the trial, counsel appearing for both Poulson and Pottinger
unsuccessfully sought to have these letters excluded as inadmissible
against their respective clients. Mr. Steer no longer takes that stand, but
he nevertheless submits (a) that the learned Judge should in the exercise
of his discretion have excluded them on the ground that, even though
strictly admissible, their prejudicial effect vastly outweighed their
probative value; and (b) that, having decided to admit the letters, the
learned Judge later directed the jury in an obscure and confusing manner as
to the way they should be regarded in relation to Pottinger.

The two letters need to be considered in their context. They are part of a
fasciculus of letters dealing with the matter of a claim for £655 by Angus
Heating Co., Ltd., a company then
in liquidation. They had been employed by the Poulson organisation to
install a central heating system at ‘Pelicans’, and the Official Receiver
at first tried to recover that amount from them, When liability was
disputed, he wrote to Pottinger on April 27th and requested payment. On May
1st, Pottinger replied that he had already paid the sum demanded, which was
untrue. Although Pottinger on the same date also wrote to Poulson,
informing him of the terms of his letter to the Official Receiver, on May
13th Poulson sent to his solicitor the letter already referred to (Exhibit
325), which was seemingly designed to adduce reasons why the Poulson
organisation should pay the bill for £655, namely that Pottinger deserved
to be rewarded for the services he had rendered to them and for services he
could still render. Being still troubled about the position, the Official
Receiver again requested payment from Pottinger, who thereupon wrote to
Poulson on Saturday May 30th, “….. you told me that you were instructing
Mr. Grimwood to settle the account. Something seems to have gone wrong … I
know you appreciate how desperately worrying this is. I will give you a
ring at home on Wednesday evening to hear what you have been able to do
about this account…”. That letter is capable of being regarded as
indicating that Pottinger was then in straitened financial circumstances, a
factor not wholly irrelevant in a case of this type, but Mr. Steer resists
such an interpretation and submits that it is but a further example of the
appellant’s “sponging” upon Poulson. On the following Monday, June 1st,
Poulson wrote to his solicitor the letter already quoted (Exhibit 327),
giving the reason why the Poulson organisation should regard it as
“necessary to pay up” the £655 demanded by the Official Receiver. The
letters which thereafter passed between the parties concerned need not be
referred to.

We entertain no doubt that the learned Judge was entitled in the proper
exercise of his discretion to admit, as he did, the two letters objected
to. But the manner in which he dealt with them in his summing-up has been
the subject of strong and telling criticism by Mr. Steer. Counsel accepts
that Mr. Justice Waller took pains to make clear (both when the letters
were originally introduced in evidence and in his summing-up) that, while
Exhibits 325 and 327 were admissible against Poulson, only the fact that
they were sent was admissible against Pottinger and that there was no
evidence against him that the various statements contained in the letters
which implicated him had any basis of truth. But, even so he makes a
two-fold complaint: (A) Other evidence in the case went to show that those
statements involving Pottinger were untrue, but the Judge failed to make
this clear; (B) despite his direction that the contents were not admissible
against Pottinger, he later treated them as though they were. We proceed to
consider these criticisms in their turn:


(A). The Crown do not accept that the statements involving Pottinger
contained in the two letters are all demonstrably untrue, but they accept
that there was no foundation of truth in the statement that it was through
him that the Poulson organisation “got the Aviemore job”, and there was
independent evidence of the most convincing kind that the additional
£12,000 paid to the architects in respect of the Edinburgh schools was
their just entitlement and that Pottinger played no part in securing
recognition of this fact or the actual payment of the fees. Mr. Cobb
acknowledges that at no stage did the learned Judge in so many words direct
the jury that there was indeed no evidence implicating Pottinger in this
matter of the Edinburgh schools, That it was highly desirable that he
should have done so is, in our judgment, beyond doubt.

(B). But Mr. Steer goes further and submits that, when dealing with the
evidence adduced against Poulson or similar gifts made by him to other
people in positions of authority, the learned Judge unfortunately used
language of a kind which might well have confused the jury and led them to
think that Pottinger might, after all, have exerted influence to secure
payment to the architects of an extra £12,000. The passages particularly
criticised in this context are those appearing in the transcript of the
third day of the summing-up, and are as follows: “You will bear in mind Mr.
Steer’s comment that in a sense there is a contrast between Mr. Pottinger
and these other people, because most of these other people were more
directly concerned with the giving of contracts, and you will bear that
fact in mind. Of course, the contrary view is that contracts are not the
only things by which you can show favour, if it be true, if it did


“happen to be true that you were able by a word in somebody’s ear to
obtain the payment of another £12,000 of fees on the Edinburgh Schools
contract, for example, that is a very valuable consideration, and if you
believe the letter (Mr. Poulson) thought that perhaps that had happened.
That is the sort of thing, the sort of favour that might be extremely
useful and that is the case that is made here, that those were the sort of
favours, and Mr. Steer says you should distinguish between those favours,
between making contracts and that kind of favour. But you may think that is
a distinction without a difference, they are both favours. If, as a result
of work, you get shall we say a £100,000 contract out of which your fee
will be £10,000, that’s no doubt useful. It is just as useful to have
£12,000 worth of fees paid if they are not likely to be paid otherwise.”

We have considered these observations with particular care and accept to a
degree the criticism directed against them by Mr. Steer. But they occur in
the course of a long passage (beginning at Day 50, page 66G) dealing, as we
have said, with ‘similar facts’ evidence, and this the learned Judge
repeatedly stressed had a bearing only on the case against Poulson. It
would nevertheless have been preferable had he in this context taken some
illustration in no way evocative of the baseless suggestion that Pottinger
had in fact secured £12,000 additional fees for Poulson in respect of the
Edinburgh schools matter. But the summing-up needs to be read as a whole
and, having done this, the view we have formed is that the jury were not
likely to have been confused in the manner suggested by Mr. Steer. While
recognising this imperfection in the summing-up, we therefore conclude that
no miscarriage of justice resulted therefrom and, had we thought it
necessary to do so, we should not have hesitated to apply the proviso to
section 2(1) of the Criminal Appeal Act 1968.

We have left to the last the ground of appeal primarily developed by Mr.
Steer. This is that the learned trial Judge did not at any time remind the
jury of the evidence advanced as a whole on behalf of Pottinger, and that
in. many respects he failed to present to them the kernel of the defence
case. It was objected that, in the course of the summing-up, he dealt
with the case under various headings and, from time to time, when dealing
with a particular heading, he adverted to what the defence was in respect
of that aspect of the case. As to this, we can only say that personal
predilection, as much as anything else, determines the form and structure
of a summing-up. Some Judges begin, some end, with a broadly painted
conspectus of the conflicting cases presented for prosecution and defence.
Some prefer, after their directions as to the law, to dive in, as it were,
at the deep end and immediately proceed to deal with the factual details.
Being human, judges have their preferences. But, provided that, when the
summing-up is concluded, the case for each side has been fairly and
adequately presented, no proper ground for condemnation can arise. In the
present prolonged and difficult case it is notable how few were the
interventions of the learned Judge, who held the reins firmly throughout
and, as we consider, while at times revealing certain views he had formed,
left fully and fairly to the jury their unfettered duty of judging
according to their own view of the evidence. That we entertain no doubt
they proceeded to do. And there was ample and, indeed, compelling evidence
to entitle them to hold that the guilt of the accused had been fully
brought home. Accordingly, in so far as questions of law have been raised,
the appeal is dismissed, and in relation to the other grounds constituting
an application for leave to appeal against conviction that application is

There remains to be considered the application in relation to sentence. It
is urged that sentences amounting to five years’ imprisonment were
excessive. The grounds principally relied upon are that the learned Judge
failed to have due regard to the appellant’s age (58), health and previous
good character, both in the civil service and the Army; the considerable
period of time that the prospect of the trial had been hanging over him and
his family since his suspension in July 1972; the absence of any evidence
that Poulson had derived any material benefit from his association with the
appellant; and the disparity between the sentences imposed in the present
case and those of seven years, six years and five years respectively
imposed in what were said to be the far graver cases of Poulson himself in
other trials and of T. Dan Smith and Andrew Cunningham in
respect of dissociated corruption charges.

Mr. Steer submitted that so great is the appellant’s fall and so complete
his ruin that no deterrent sentence is called for, it being unthinkable
that, with so terrible an outcome before them, others would be tempted to
follow his example were a substantially shorter sentence substituted. We
have in mind, too, just as the learned Judge did, that the appellant
suffers from a severe hiatus hernia. He expressed the view, which we share,
that the possibility that Poulson was led to believe that more was being
done for him than was the case did not make the conduct of the appellant
more acceptable, neither did the plea that his greed had led him to batten
on his co-accused. Although there is no evidence that the material
interests of the Crown have suffered by his activities, great harm has
undoubtedly been done to the high prestige of those in the Crown’s service.
Although we accept that a deterrent sentence is not called for, one which
marks the public condemnation of misconduct so grave, so prolonged and so
utterly inexcusable is accordingly unavoidable. So regarded, we cannot in
our judgment say that the sentences imposed were wrong in principle.
Notwithstanding this, there remains in the Court the residual power of
showing mercy in appropriate circumstances. Having carefully considered
those of the present case, we have come to the conclusion that it would not
be improper to exercise that power in some degree. We proceed to do so and,
allowing the application and treating this as the appeal against sentence,
we reduce the sentence imposed on count 1 from five years to four and make
the sentences of twelve months’ imprisonment passed on count 3 and count 13
concurrent with those imposed in relation to counts 5, 7, 9 and 11. In the
result, the appellant is sentenced to serve four years’ imprisonment,
instead of five.

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

For an Index /Timeline of Court Appeals on Cathy Fox Blog see [1]

[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

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