Herman Jacob Spielman and Victoria Hughes 21 Mar 1980 Court of Appeal (Viscount Mersey)

Hughes appeared to pimp out her own children to Bigham and Spielman, for indecent photographs but they were also physically assaulted. Spielman and Hughes appealed against conviction and sentence which are dismissed.

It is not exactly clear but it appears that Bigham committed indecent assault on at least one of the children. I am not sure if he was charged, and sentenced but he was a prosecution witness against Spielman and Hughes, and said he was revolted by his own actions.  Glasgow Herald Peer’s son in sex case “revolted” [4]

Herman Spielman was apparently connected to another paedophile Eric Cross.

Bigham was a member of PIE, and later became Richard Maurice Clive Bigham, 4th Viscount Mersey (1934–2006) [3]


Some court 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” to protect victims details, there may also be “assault redaction” across most of the spectrum of abuse. The assaults are left in the charges, but mainly redacted when repeated with reference to the individual. I have also redacted unnecessary detail of assaults.

Redaction 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 vital information is mainly names of the perpetrators, past addresses, institutions where assaults occurred, the actual charges the perpetrators faced, and dates – on which newspapers are pathetically inaccurate and this information enables the links between people and places and abuse at various times to be ascertained.

Some transcripts may have been subject to automatic reading software and whilst effort has been made to correct these, the text should not be regarded as definitive.  Common mistakes in reprinting here are that quotation marks are sometimes not correct, replaced by odd symbols.

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

This appeal is unredacted by cathy fox blog

Index of Newspaper and Journal articles on this blog [1]

Index of Court Appeals on this blog [2]

[1980] EWCA Crim J0321-5

No. 3753/A/78


Friday, 21st March 1980

Lord Justice Ormrod



Herman Jacob Spielman

and Victoria Hughes

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

MR. J. MORTIMER, Q.C. and MR. M. GRIEVE appeared on behalf of the Appellant Spielman.

MISS S. KLONIN appeared on behalf of the Appellant Hughes.

MR. B. HYTNER, Q.C. and MR. J. BONNEY appeared on behalf of the Crown.


(As approved by Judge)

LORD JUSTICE ORMROD: At this stage we will deal with Miss Klonin’s submissions on behalf of Mrs. Hughes on her appeal against conviction for which leave was given by the single Judge.

Miss Klonin had settled extensive grounds of appeal against conviction. Today wisely Miss Klonin has limited the grounds to the first three. They are, first, that there was no sufficient evidence on which a jury could reasonably be satisfied that the appellant knew that an indecent assault would take place, as opposed to merely knowing, on any common sense view, that something would take place involving her undressed daughters. We can only comment that we find it a little difficult to understand what it means. Secondly, the learned trial Judge failed to direct the jury that if they formed the view that the appellant may have believed only that photographs were to be taken of her undressed daughters then they should acquit. That is the substantive ground argued in this Court. Thirdly, that the learned trial Judge failed to remind the jury that because Spielman had come to the appellant’s home with a camera and there had been no conversation between the appellant and the prosecution witness Bigham, indicating Bigham’s intention to assault the appellant’s daughter, there was certainly a possibility that the appellant’s knowledge related only to the taking of photographs.

The only defence which was advanced at the trial by Mrs. Hughes, who was then represented by leading counsel as well as Miss Klonin, was that she had left the house during the period that these two men were in the house and she had no knowledge of anything that was going to happen, and she produced evidence of an alibi. It is quite plain from the summing up that the only defence that was put forward on her behalf was simply that she was not there at the material time. The appellant in this case, as she was entitled to do, elected not to give evidence, although she did make a statement from the dock.

Today Miss Klonin argues that there was a possible defence open to her, namely that she was aware of or thought that the purpose of the visit of Spielman and Bigham to her house, and the purpose of asking the two little girls to go upstairs to undress in the bedroom might have been for the relatively innocent purpose of taking indecent photographs of these two girls; the basis of that being that, whether she knew it or she did not, Spielman was a dealer in indecent photographs of children and it is said that Bigham was himself a film producer.

At no time, quite plainly, either in the course of evidence, in the course of cross-examination or in the course of his final speech to the jury did Mr. West, who was leading for Mrs. Hughes, ever suggest such a defence. It is perfectly plain from reading the summing up that no one in the whole course of this trial had even suggested such a possibility which, on any view, was a singularly remote one.

Miss Klonin relies on a passage in R. v. Kachikwu 52 Cr. App. R. 538 . This is a case far away from this case on its facts. It is a case involving a defence of self-defence. Miss Klonin relies on a passage in the judgment of Lord Justice Winn at page 543, where he said ‘It is asking much of judges and other tribunals of trial of criminal charges to require that they should always have in mind possible answers, possible excuses in law which have not been relied upon by defending counsel or even, as has happened in some cases, have been expressly disclaimed by defending counsel. Nevertheless, it is perfectly clear that this Court has always regarded it as the duty of the judge of trial to ensure that he himself looks for and sees any such possible answers and refers to them in summing up to the jury and takes care to ensure that the jury’s verdict rests upon their having in fact excluded any of those excusatory circumstances.’

One must of course put a limit. No one, still less Lord Justice Winn, would have intended those words to imply that it is the duty of a trial Judge to pick over the whole facts of the case and try and invent a defence which nobody else has ever suggested. In our judgment that passage must be interpreted in the light of the facts of the case itself. It cannot be treated as a decision of all embracing application. Indeed this case illustrates the ultimate absurdity which would be involved if that was so. To suggest that a Judge in a case like this has to sit down and try to invent a defence, which neither counsel nor client has ever thought of and which in any event seems to be utterly remote, is absurd.

So the appeal against conviction is dismissed.

(The Court heard submissions on sentence)

LORD JUSTICE ORMROD: We now have to deal with the two appeals against sentence in this case.

So far as Spielman is concerned, the sentence we have to deal with is a total sentence of six years’ imprisonment. So far as Mrs. Hughes is concerned, the sentence is four years’ imprisonment.

We have listened very carefully indeed to all that Mr. Mortimer has said on behalf of Spielman. We take the points that he has made, in particular that the sentences passed on this appellant in relation to the Jones cases, which came before the Court on his own confession, which were the same as the sentences passed in respect of Hughes case, may have been too high.

We have considered this very carefully. Although the learned Judge, so far as the transcript goes, had very little before him about the Brenda Jones case, it is obvious that he had read the depositions in that case and obviously Spielman knew what the full state of the evidence in connection with Brenda Jones was and pleaded guilty to those two offences.

The case is an extremely bad one on any view. Spielman is now a man in his late fifties. He has hitherto had an impeccable record and has had a very sad life, the details of which it is not now necessary to repeat, although we have them fully in mind. But he pleaded to a series of offences of indecency relating to children. In the first count he pleaded guilty to possessing an obscene article for publication for gain, that is indecent photographs of children; in the second count he pleaded guilty to publishing an obscene article, similar indecent photographs of children. For each of those he received sentences of one year’s imprisonment. The fourth count charged him with indecent assault upon one of Mrs. Hughes’ daughters, a girl of 10, for which he received a sentence of three years’ imprisonment. The fifth count charged him with inciting this child to commit an act of gross indecency with another man, for which he received a sentence of one year’s imprisonment. None of those sentences could possibly be challenged, and indeed Mr. Mortimer has not challenged them at all. So far as the other two counts involving Brenda Jones are concerned, again an indecent assault on her which he admitted and an act of gross indecency with Brenda Jones which he admitted, he received a sentence of three years’ imprisonment on the first of those counts and one year on the second, concurrent with one another, but consecutive to the sentence in respect of the other child.

We have considered very carefully all that Mr. Mortimer has said, but we think that this case is of such gravity that it is not possible for this Court, making all allowance for Spielman, who has had a health record and all the rest of it, to interfere with the sentence. His conduct was such that it was bound to receive a heavy sentence. We appreciate the fact that the combined effect of these consecutive sentences adds up to six years, whereas the maximum for any one of the offences is five. But it is plain that Spielman has been following this course of conduct for a long time and it is of vital importance that this sort of behaviour, when it is discovered, should be dealt with most severely in order to deter others from embarking upon it. We do not feel justified in interfering with the learned Judge’s sentence.

So far as Mrs. Hughes is concerned, she received a total sentence of four years’ imprisonment on two counts: one of encouraging the commission of an indecent assault upon her daughter, and secondly an indecent assault upon her daughter. For the first of these she received one year’s imprisonment and for the second she received a sentence of four years’ imprisonment.

Her case, as Miss Klonin has pointed out very clearly, in some ways is a very sad one, in this sense that as a result of having prostituted herself at one time for Spielman and providing her daughter for the purpose of indecency one way or another to these two men, Spielman and Bigham, she has suffered greatly. Her husband has divorced her. Her home has gone and she is in prison under conditions which can be very difficult to bear. We also bear in mind that she is a woman of very simple mind. Miss Klonin has made the point very strongly that she is a woman of humble origin, of little intelligence, who has been used by people of greater intelligence and much greater sophistication. But as was said in the course of argument, it does not require any degree of sophistication, education, culture or anything else in a mother to resist to the last her daughters being subjected to the kind of treatment to which her daughter was subjected to and to which she herself was a party. It is not a question of sophistication or culture or upbringing or religion. The simpler she is the more she should have reacted violently against such an appalling thing happening to her daughter.

For the same reasons we have given in relation to Spielman, the vital importance of preventing this sort of thing happening, we do not feel able to interfere with the sentence passed on her.

Both appeals against sentence will be dismissed.

Please note that victims of abuse may be triggered by reading this information. These links are generally UK based.

  • 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.
  • One in Four [C]
  • Havoca [D].
  • Useful post on Triggers [E]  from SurvivorsJustice [F] blog.
  • Jim Hoppers pages on Mindfulness [G]  and Meditation [H] may be useful.
  • Hwaairfan blog An Indigenous Australian Approach to Healing Trauma  [J]
  • Survivors UK for victims and survivors of male rape or the sexual abuse of men [K]
  • Voicing CSA group [L] helps arrange survivors meetings in your area
  • A Prescription for me blog Various emotional support links [M]
  • ShatterBoys -“Male Survivors Of Childhood Sexual Abuse Inspiring change, Through Shared Experience Whilst Building Connections…Together We Can Heal” [N]


[1] Index of Newspaper and Journal articles on this blog https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2015/05/23/newspaper-stories-index-timeline/

[2] Index of Court Appeals EWCA on this blog https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2015/05/08/a-timeline-of-court-and-ewca-documentation-on-cathy-fox-blog/

[3] Wikipedia Viscount_Mersey https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viscount_Mersey archive http://archive.is/S0Nod

[4] 1978 Jul 20 Glasgow Herald Peers son in sex case “revolted” https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2507&dat=19780720&id=PbZAAAAAIBAJ&sjid=rqUMAAAAIBAJ&pg=6004,3806521&hl=en

[5] http://articles.philly.com/1988-11-1…heinz-galinski [registration wall at least]

Posted: November 10, 1988
KARLSRUHE, West Germany — Herman Spielman strolled up to the elderly man sweeping his stoop earlier this week and asked: “Did you know the Spielmans?”

“Of course,” the man replied. “They were a Jewish family – they lived in that house there, but they went away.”

“Went away?” shouted Spielman. “They were murdered – murdered in concentration camps, my mother, my father, five brothers and sisters. I alone am left. I am a Spielman.”

“This happened in public,” said Spielman, who was sixteen at the time and later fled to England. “Everyboy knew what was happening.”

[A] Sanctuary for the Abused http://abusesanctuary.blogspot.co.uk/2006/07/for-survivors-coping-with-triggers-if.html

About cathy fox blog on Child Abuse

the truth will out, the truth will shout, the truth will set us free...
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5 Responses to Herman Jacob Spielman and Victoria Hughes 21 Mar 1980 Court of Appeal (Viscount Mersey)

  1. Pingback: An Index and Timeline of Court and Court of Appeal Documents on Cathy Fox Blog | cathy fox blog on child abuse



  4. Pingback: Mother Pimped Out Her Own Children | cathy fox blog on child abuse

  5. Pingback: cathy fox Mother Pimped Out Her Own Children | HOLLIE GREIG JUSTICE

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