[#ScoutsAbuse7] John Queen 1984 May 10 Court of Appeal

John Queen was born in Glasgow. He was convicted of gross indecency and buggery, of a 13 year old boy in 1982 and 1983.

He had got to know the boy a year before whilst an instructor attached to a local scout group in the North London area. The appeal was dismissed.


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 redacted for victims personal detail by cathy fox blog

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

Index of Court Appeals on this blog [2]


[1984] EWCA Crim J0510-4

No. 6878/B/83


Thursday, 10th May 1984

Mr. Justice Mustill

Regina v John Queen

(Transcript of the Shorthand Notes of Marten Walsh Cherer Ltd., 36-38 Whitefriars Street, Fleet Street, London, EC4Y 8BH. Telephone Number: 01-583 7635. Shorthand Writers to the Court.)

MR. D. ANDERSON appeared on behalf of the Appellant.


(As approved by Judge)

MR. JUSTICE OTTON: On 24th October 1983 at the Central Criminal Court the appellant pleaded guilty to a three-count indictment. On 25th November he appeared before His Honour Judge Mason and was sentenced on count 1, for gross indecency, to six months’ imprisonment, and on counts 2 and 3, for buggery, to three years’ imprisonment on each offence concurrent, making a total sentence of three years’ imprisonment.

He appeals against that sentence by leave of the single Judge.

The facts and the background of these matters are as follows. One starts with the date of birth of the complainant, [A], which was [redacted] 1969. In the summer of 1982 the appellant, then 25 years of age, was and had been an instructor attached to a local scout group in the North London area. That summer the complainant, then aged 12 years, joined the scout group and so came to know and be known to the appellant.

It is essential to bear in mind that nothing untoward occurred during this period. Although [A] left the scouts after only a few months, the association between the appellant and him continued. We would emphasise that this Court, as did the trial Judge, sees nothing sinister in this part of the relationship and certainly we take no view which is adverse to the appellant on this part of the story. There is no suggestion that he approached any of the other boys in the scout group or that he discharged his duties in relation to the scouts other than perfectly properly.

However shortly before Christmas 1982 the appellant invited the boy to his flat to play strip poker, a game in which both of them stripped naked. Nothing further however occurred on that occasion.

There was then a period which is vital for the consideration of this Court, and we would emphasise that in stating the facts we rely on the admissions made by the appellant to the police, and where they differ from the version given by the boy, we rely solely upon the appellant’s version and admissions and net on the allegations of the boy.

Between December 1982 and April 1983 the association progressed to the stage where on repeated occasions the appellant took the boy to his flat and masturbated him. He then committed buggery with him, the boy always being the passive partner. When interviewed by the police about this part of the history, there was the following exchange:

“Q. Did he take his clothes off? A. Yeah I think we played strip poker.

“Q. Did you go to bed that time? A. No, it was ages before we did that, we just used to play about for the first three or four times, you know, just wanking each other.

“Q. He didn’t let you have sex with him at first? A. No, it was only about two months or so ago that he let me.”

This interview took place in April 1983, which puts that date at February 1983, which makes the boy at the time when he was first buggered 13 years and [redacted] months of age.

Later in the interview there was this exchange:

“Q. How many times do you think you’ve buggered him? A. About ten times.

“Q. How much money have you given him? A. Well £20 each time plus money for fags and cigarettes or sweets, things like that.”

It is clear also that A was at first reluctant to indulge in what he knew to be wrong, but agreed on account of the money. Later in the interview the appellant said that A became greedy for the money.

The association came to light when the boy’s mother became suspicious on account of the money he seemed to possess and a new found unruly behaviour. The police were alerted and the appellant was apprehended. It is right to say that he readily confessed his guilt.

Unhappily since that time the boy has been placed in voluntary care. It is necessary to bear in mind that there were only two specific acts of buggery charged in the indictment. The offence of gross indecency, which was the subject matter of count 1, was on the basis of the masturbation.

The appellant himself was born in Glasgow, where he received a secondary school education, later moving to London to complete it at the age of 15. His main employment was that of carpenter for a local authority. He was a single man and occupied a council flat in North London. He had made four court appearances, mainly for dishonesty, burglary and theft, and he had been dealt with by way of conditional discharge and fines. This is his first custodial sentence. We would emphasise that there has been no previous conviction for any offence of a homosexual nature whatsoever.

When the matter came before His Honour Judge Mason, there was before the Court a social enquiry report which reviewed in detail the appellant’s early history and emotional anxieties which were clearly of a sexual nature. The report concluded that the Portman Clinic, to which he had been referred, was in a position to offer a long term solution to this man’s problems by what were described as ‘psychiatric and therapeutic treatment’, and suggested that that course be taken coupled with a supervision order of the Court.

A second report was a medical report from Dr. E.V. Weldon of the Portman Clinic who, having interviewed the appellant, set out the details of the diagnostic interview at length. She too supported the recommendation in the social enquiry report. It is however correct to observe that neither in the social enquiry report nor in Dr. Weldon’s report was it ever stated what that treatment was, the nature of it or what it was intended to achieve.

In the course of his mitigation to the learned Judge Mr. Anderson, who has also appeared before us today, urged the trial Judge to follow the recommendation in the report. It is right to record that when that matter was put to the learned Judge, he said this: “The difficulty as I see it here is, as I am sure you and everyone understands, that there is the element of corruption.”, to which Mr. Anderson replied, “My Lord, yes. I cannot gainsay this.”

When sentencing this man the learned trial Judge stated as follows:

“John Queen, you are 26 years of age. These offences disclose a persistent series of buggeries on this 13 year old boy, coupled with other acts of what might be called ‘sexual commerce’. You came into contact with him, if he is right, because of your work through the boy scouts. I accept what is said, that the boy scouts covered only a matter of weeks. But you became friendly with him and in the end seduced him, for money. The effect on that boy is problematic. Who knows what effect it will have on him throughout his life? We know it is probably certain because of what happened that his behaviour deteriorated so badly that he is now in voluntary care. All those things the court has to take into account.

“You are a young man with no previous convictions for similar offences. That I accept. No force was used on this boy. That also I accept. The sentence, had that been done, would have been very different. I have read the psychiatric report and it is clear also that you have had problems of your own. All those things in your favour I accept. The sentence which I pass must reflect public outrage which people feel when they hear of this type of offence on a boy of this age. You will go to prison for three years …”.

Mr. Anderson today has submitted that the sentence is too long. He has referred us helpfully to three other decisions of this Court when somewhat similar but not identical cases have appeared before it. In the case of Thornton , there was a boy who was aged 13 years and 10 months, who was approached by a man aged 39 who was of entirely good character. There was a single act of buggery. A sentence of two and a half years was reduced to one of two years.

In the case of Armston which came before the Lord Chief Justice and another Judge, the Court had to consider the situation where a boy 15 years of age, who already had some homosexual experience, was buggered by a man aged 41, and a sentence which had been passed in the first instance of two years’ imprisonment. It is right to quote what the Lord Chief Justice said on that occasion: “It must be made perfectly plain that boys of 15, whatever their character, cannot be treated in this way. If the judge had passed a sentence of less than two years’ imprisonment for these offences he would have done less than his duty to deter others.”

Finally the case of Tanner which came before my Lord, Lord Justice Purchas and another Judge, where a boy of 15 was buggered on several occasions over a period of about one week by a man of 43 years. This man had previous convictions of a similar nature. It was held there that the sentence of five years which was imposed upon him should not be disturbed.

We have considered this sentence in the light of those decisions and we do not consider that it is in any way out of line with the sentences which were imposed on those other occasions. For our part we consider (hat the learned Judge undoubtedly considered all the relevant considerations which were placed before him. It is true that the Portman Clinic option was open to him, but it was only one of the considerations which he had to take into account. He also had to take into account the extreme youth of the complainant who, as I have already indicated, was only 13 years and 3 months old when he was first buggered, and the number of occasions when the offence took place, ten at least on the admission of the appellant himself. He also had to take into account thirdly the element of corruption. This boy had no previous experience. He did it for the money and got to the stage where he saw it as an easy means of income and even became greedy. Fourthly he had to take into account the effect on the boy. This Court, like His Honour Judge Mason, cannot ignore the coincidence between the activity and the deterioration in his behaviour and the fact that he went into care. Fifthly we think that the learned Judge was right in taking into account the sense of “public outrage”, as he put it, which is felt about this type of offence. We also bear in mind a potent factor in the appellant’s favour, which no doubt the learned Judge did, that this man pleaded guilty to the three counts and thus saved the boy the experience of giving evidence in public.

We consider that the learned Judge took all the relevant natters into account and weighed them properly. We consider that the sentence he passed was within the bracket for this type of offence. We therefore dismiss this appeal.

1978 Jan 20 [#ScoutsAbuse 6] Ernest Fred Jay Court of Appeal [257]

1984 May 10 [#ScoutsAbuse 7] John Queen  Court of Appeal [258]

1987 Oct 22 [#ScoutsAbuse 5] Derek Lewis Foster  Court of Appeal [256]

1988 Jun 7 [#ScoutsAbuse 8] William Henry Twigg  Court of Appeal [259]

1999 Jul 29 [#ScoutsAbuse 4] John Oliver Bentley Court of Appeal  [255]

2000 Jun 13 [#ScoutsAbuse 3] Andrew Lee Clark 2000 Jun 13 Court of Appeal [254]

2006 Jun 19 [#ScoutsAbuse 2] John Anthony Coghlan 2006 Jun 19 Court of Appeal [253]

2016 Mar 18 [#ScoutsAbuse 1] KCR v Scout Association High Court [252] 

  • 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]
  • Fresh Start Foundation Scottish not for profit group, helping child sexual abuse victims & survivors  [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/

[252] 2018 Feb 6 cathy fox blog [Scouts 1] KCR v Scout Association High Court 18th March 2016 https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2018/02/06/scouts-1-kcr-v-scout-association-high-court-18th-march-2016/

[253] 2018 Feb 6 cathy fox blog [#ScoutsAbuse 2] John Anthony Coghlan 2006 Jun 19 Court of Appeal https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2018/02/07/scoutsabuse-2-john-anthony-coghlan-2006-jun-19-court-of-appeal/

[254] 2018 Feb 6 cathy fox blog [#ScoutsAbuse 3] Andrew Lee Clark 2000 Jun 13 Court of Appeal https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2018/02/07/scoutsabuse-3-andrew-lee-clark-2000-jun-13-court-of-appeal/

[255] 2018 Feb 6 cathy fox blog [#ScoutsAbuse 4] John Oliver Bentley Court of Appeal 29 Jul 1999 https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2018/02/07/scoutsabuse-4-john-oliver-bentley-court-of-appeal-29-jul-1999/

[256] 2018 Feb  cathy fox blog [#ScoutsAbuse 5] Derek Lewis Foster 22nd October 1987 Court of Appeal https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2018/02/08/scoutsabuse-5-derek-lewis-foster-22nd-october-1987-court-of-appeal/

[257] 2018 Feb 9 cathy fox blog  [#ScoutsAbuse 6] Ernest Fred Jay 1978 Jan 20 Court of Appeal https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2018/02/09/scoutsabuse6-ernest-fred-jay-1978-jan-20-court-of-appeal/

[258] 2018 feb 10 cathy fox blog  [#ScoutsAbuse 7] John ueen 1984 May 10 Court of Appeal https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2018/02/10/scoutsabuse7-john-queen-1984-may-10-court-of-appeal/

[259] 2018 feb 10 cathy fox blog [#ScoutsAbuse 8] William Henry Twigg 1988 Jun 7 Court of Appeal https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2018/02/10/tt-tag-check-scoutsabuse-8-william-henry-twigg-1988-jun-7-court-of-appeal/

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

Let justice be done though the heavens fall – Fiat justitia ruat cælum

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16 Responses to [#ScoutsAbuse7] John Queen 1984 May 10 Court of Appeal

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