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Man still has to declare 51-year-old buggery conviction

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  1. John Crawford, if you’re out there… tell us who we should write to, to apply pressure on your behalf!

  2. Definitely – this is not justice.

  3. Omar Kuddus 15 Feb 2010, 1:02pm

    John Crawford
    http://careers.guardian.co.uk/criminal-record-disclosure?
    “GOVERNMENT TO REVIEW EXPIRY DATES FOR CRB DISCLOSURES
    CRB do not have an expiry date. The renewal period is set by the body that controls or inspects the relevant profession. As a result of the report to the Govenment by Sir Richard Singleton the Government will now consider and issue guidance on the recommended renewal period for Disclosures.” according to http://www.crbcheck.info/Default.aspx
    As above let me know who pressure needs to be appied on your behalf, to get this matter sorted.

  4. This is shocking. There must be other cases like this, and the convictions should be overturned and an apology made to the victims of this injustice. I too would support a petition on this.

  5. Pumpkin Pie 15 Feb 2010, 1:47pm

    I agree with Yewtree and would go one step further: add monetary compensation to the list. BIG compensation. Of course, that’ll never happen. Governments always wait for people to die so that they don’t have to shell out.

  6. This is rather shocking. If I were in his position I would not declare, make sure that I am caught and have it boil over in court. It wouldn’t make it through the European courts.

  7. P.S. I agree 100% with monetary compensation, as well as a public apology.

  8. I watched the BBC Four programme on “High Offices of State” last evening that dealt with the Home Office.I am not surprised at all at this obscenity – just thankful it never happened to me or my late partner as it easily could have.Complacent,self-serving with the controlling “mandarins” enjoying lucrative privilege.

    It is a natural consequence of the way our country is run,essentially as a medieval monarchy with inbuilt privilege and injustice.The serfs are seen as deserving no better to keep them in their places.

  9. total disgrace when the laws been changed for so long!

  10. Wonder what MANDY would have to say..as the “driven snow, of course.!”..(ahem).
    K

  11. Of course it’s JUSTICE! The law is not retroactive.
    The man knew the law at the time and he broke it. The fact that times change is completely irrelevant. Many people were locked up for homosexual related activities before the repeal in 1967. It’s called progress, but stop trying to turn the clocks back to try and change what has already passed. By the same token, we would have to apologise to every living person convicted of any law that has since been changed, amended or repealed. I wish people would get their damn heads out of the clouds and get back to the real world.

  12. Nobody in 2009 should have to admit to such a conviction – this is disgraceful. I encourage Mr Crawford and anyone ‘guilty’ of such a conviction before the 1967 act to lie on application forms.

  13. If I try making a petition on the “Number 10″ web site (not sure of the method yet), will you guys sign it?

  14. If its a first crime, first time offenders should have one chance as they do under the current system. At least have a statute of limitation for “crimes” committed say 25 years ago and after it has expired, expunge the crime. First time offenders deserve one chance.

    Gendy, I agree…get rid of that anachronism the monarchy and the house of lords along with it. Both undemocratic institutions and contrary to democracy. Ditto the C of E cult, abolish state cultism altogether.

  15. The Grinch 15 Feb 2010, 3:21pm

    Big deal….I’ve usually had to bugger all and sundry just to get a job in the first place. And that was at the corner chippie…

  16. Deborah Gold 15 Feb 2010, 3:42pm

    Galop has been supporting John and many others who have been affected in the same way. We are looking for others who might be interested in joining the case, or who need support in this area. We’ll also be continuing our lobbying on this incredibly unjust situation which criminalised men for something which never whould have been, and no longer is a criminal offence. please get in touch with us on 020 7704 2040 or http://www.galop.org.uk if you need support on this issue.

  17. Deborah Gold 15 Feb 2010, 3:43pm

    We’ll also be continuing our lobbying on this incredibly unjust situation which criminalised men for something which never whould have been, and no longer is a criminal offence. please get in touch with us on 020 7704 2040 or http://www.galop.org.uk if you need support on this issue.

  18. Mbosaramba 15 Feb 2010, 3:49pm

    The guy is clearly crazy! 51 years ago he was the criminal who committed the crime of buggery, and he was justifully convicted as a bugger in accordance with laws of Great Britan. What’s happened now is different matter, and law could not be applied backword. The idiot doesn’t understand that, and this is why he is the idiot. Poor ex-bugger with crazy brain, nothing else!

  19. Omar Kuddus 15 Feb 2010, 4:09pm

    tsuchan, Its notthat difficult or if you need help just send a copy to me Omar.kuddus@yahoo.co.uk and shall help you through the process.
    You start at http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/

  20. Can people really be suggesting that this man and others brought it on themselves? So yes, he probably knew what he was doing was against the law at the time. Should he have hidden it? Police had the right to break into your home if they suspected. Do you suggest he and others shouldn’t have been gay? Maybe if no-one took a stand at the time we may still have to be hiding it today. Have we come so far only for a few to forget what people had to go through for us to get what we have today. Shame on you. It doesn’t matter if he did it 51 years ago. The day being homosexual became legal All active buggery criminal records should have been removed and destroyed. There’s no way he should have had to go through years being denied jobs and having to justify something that was no-one elses business just because of people ignorance.

    I agree with a petition and maybe it’s time a few challenged this in the courts for the government to amend this act and to fight for compensation.

  21. 19. What a bizarre post! I think Mbosaramba’s grasp of jurisprudence is second only to that of spelling and grammar. Are you homosexual yourself, Mbosaramba?
    Similarly, another typically insightful post from RobN – well done, dear.
    Ex post facto legislation is of course extremely difficult, and for the very good reason that it could be used to criminalise acts that were not against the law at the time they were committed. But I don’t think you’d need to do any of that here.
    The point surely is that Mr. Crawford committed an act in 1959 which was then a criminal act, and presumably was punished for it. We now hold that such an act would not be criminal today, especially since the SOA 2003. However, because of a disclosure system that was only introduced in 1997, he finds himself the subject of discrimination and exclusion when applying to do voluntary work. This outome can in no way be an intended consequence of the CRB system, which exists to ensure that those working with children and vulnerable people do not present a threat to them.
    I’ve no doubt that with a will, the authorities can find away of excluding such convictions from disclosure obligations. – it jsut needs some common sense.
    Go Deborah Gold and GALOP – I hope you get there.

  22. Chameleon: “Another typically insightful post from RobN – well done, dear.”

    Any time, luvvie.
    I really don’t know what the man is wittering on about, all crimes except the most serious, are taken from your record after seven years. The only people that would still see the historical evidence would be the police or the courts.

    If this is a matter of others seeing his record is one matter, and I agree that old records such as this should not be used in CRB checks etc. However, to ask that an apology be given because the law has since changed is an entirely different one. This is like countries demanding reparation from UK for what the British Empire did 200 years ago. Where does it stop? Maybe we can do the same off the Italians for the Roman invasion. I mean, what did the Romans ever do for us? ;)

  23. RobN (12): I strongly disagree. John and (according to Deborah) many others like him are being punished today for something that is not a crime today.

    If somebody was in jail today for an offence which had been decriminalised because it was recognised to be unjust, wouldn’t you campaign for their release?

    The effects of an unjust law should cease, and John should start by receiving a pardon. There’s nothing “retroactive” about that.

  24. Perhaps he should volunteer for the Catholic church then his conviction will be considered more of a qualification, rather than a barrier.

    Though seriously, to those who point out that he broke the law of the day. Yes he did. And good for him – that is not up for debate. The issue is that he has to disclose the conviction today…….The law subordinates the right to privacy, in favour of declaring convictions for those whose convictions have a bearing on the present. This man’s conviction does not – therefore his right to privacy should be in tact and he should be the judge of what and when to disclose (if he deems it relevant).

  25. Mbosaramba appears to be a primitive, uneducated, ignorant savage!

  26. RobiNa, sweetie, how do I do italics, so that I can emphasise how much I love you?
    I think your grasp of what happens under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act is a bit thin. No crimes are taken from your record (ie the PNC) until your hundredth birthday. Spent convictions (for custodial sentences less than 2,1/2 years) do not have to be declared, subject to certain exceptions. One of which is working within the prison service, even as a volunteer. Which is what Mr Crawford is ‘wittering’ on about.
    I know you find the merest mention of civil liberties quite nauseating, but don’t you think you could try for a few scant momenmts to imagine what it must be like to be somebody else?
    Go on … try it!
    Lots of love. x

  27. James Lees 15 Feb 2010, 6:11pm

    The seven year rule does not apply where people are applying for jobs involving vulnerable people – quite right too.
    The ‘crime’ of buggery was just that – a crime – at the time the guy was convicted.

    So it’s not justice or law that is needed – it’s good old common sense. Of course it should not be necessary for him to declare it. It would not be a gigantic piece of work to have it dropped from the list of offences, surely?

    Interesting to see how a lawsuit for damages would succeed.

  28. Pete & Michael 15 Feb 2010, 6:40pm

    This is scandalous, when Prime Minister Gordon Brown gives a post-humous apology in the case of Alan Turing, how can justice be right when the law was wrong before 1969, all people whom were convicted of consenting homosexual acts should be pardoned!

  29. Deeside Will 15 Feb 2010, 7:15pm

    Financial compensation? No. It was utterly wrong, but that’s what the law was at that time. Thinking back to the time when I was 19 myself, gays were treated appallingly at that time, but what’s past is past. No matter how much you’d like to, you can never go back and put things right. But there can be no justification whatever for keeping something on his record years after it has ceased to be a criminal offence.

  30. Jean-Paul Bentham 15 Feb 2010, 7:17pm

    “They will argue that Mr Crawford’s sexual orientation continues to be criminalised under the existing system and that it “condones” his original conviction.”

    Give me a break! What a scandalous loose end that has destroyed John’s potential, and for what??!!

    @13: For once, I agree with you!

  31. Mbosaramba 15 Feb 2010, 7:33pm

    You not deserve a break. Period, “Jean-Paul Bentham”!

  32. Jean-Paul Bentham 15 Feb 2010, 7:53pm

    That’s Mr. Bentham to you.

  33. This actually has a much greater effect than many people realize. CRB checks are mandatory for many jobs and voluntary work. On the face of it that may sound sensible and ‘enhanced’ checks are required for those working with children or vulnerable people.

    Enhanced checks in these instances means there are no limits to spent convictions including gross indecency. Again the problem is, as we all know, there are tens of thousands of gay men out there who have convictions for gross indecency. Of those thousands many ended up with convictions purely for engaging in consensual sex with another man and, within that group, thousands were tricked into admissions of gross indeceny because they were fearful of being outed.

    Years down the line these convictions are still lying on these men’s records so in effect if they would like to do some voluntary service in an area where an enhanced check is required they have to put this information back in the public domain.

    Is this a common sense approach? In effect gay men are going to think twice about doing any voluntary work. What a waste of potential talent.

  34. Perhaps it’s time for me to confess to numerous acts of consensual gay sex under the age of 21 in the late 70s/early eighties. I, and my fellow participants in the aforementioned crimes are equally deserving of a criminal record as Mr Crawford. None of us have been arrested or charged.

    This CRB nonsense needs to be dragged through the courts until dead.

  35. Jean-Paul Bentham 15 Feb 2010, 8:37pm

    Mbosaramba = Monkeychops??

  36. RobN is a homophobe’s apologist

  37. Carvero,

    I couldn’t agree more with your comment regarding RobN.

    RobN is and has in previous postings been a homophobe’s apologist.

    I think he gets kicks from it or something.

    The point is, that this poor man (and others like him) still HAS to declare a criminal record for something which now is regarded as perfectly legal. The likes of RobN just beggar belief in their rank stupidity.

    Hey Rob, why not bring the law back, just for you, since you like it so much???? Or are you ‘special’.

    RobN have you any idea what being jailed for buggery was like in the 1950′s. I mean are you seriously suggesting what happened was ok??????

    But of course, we all know you are NOT gay, and come on this site to ply your homophobic right wing views occasonally dressing them up as sympathy, whilst masquerading as a gay man. Fake, Fake, Fake.

  38. “However, to ask that an apology be given because the law has since changed is an entirely different one.”

    Clearly RobN, in his infinite wisdom, thinks Nelson Mandela should have stayed in prison, or the Jews remain in Nazi death camps, or that women should never be allowed vote… because that is precisely what he is suggesting:- we obey the unwavering laws made in the past no matter how unjust they are, and that the law is absolute, and cannot repair injustices. Nonsense, of course, but typical stupidity from him.

  39. Jean-Paul Bentham 15 Feb 2010, 9:14pm

    Mbosaramba = Monkeychops???

  40. Will, as usual you twist my words to suit your own politically correct, liberal f_ckwit agenda.

    I at NO point supported the old laws and pointed out that we have progressed. However, we cannot go backwards either. It doesnt matter how you want to present it, these people committed criminal acts against the law of the land at that time. FACT.

    Or would you maybe support a criminal that commits a crime today and says to the judge “I’ve seen the future, and in ten years time the law will be repealed”?

    Laws are made, rightly or wrongly on the opinions of the time. You can’t just try to erase them with a blackboard rubber and pretend the events didn’t occur.

  41. Jean-Paul Bentham: “Mbosaramba = Monkeychops??”

    Jean-Paul Bentham = Paranoid?

  42. Martin Aldershot 15 Feb 2010, 9:39pm

    “liberal f_ckwit agenda”

    Quite an erudite statement there, as per usual. Brava. Please, you have my undivided attention after that puerile remark.

    Lets recap, for my benefit, shall we?

    You say “You can’t just try to erase them with a blackboard rubber and pretend the events didn’t occur”.

    Who’s arguing that? Only you.

    But then you also said “However, to ask that an apology be given because the law has since changed is an entirely different one”

    So, you DON’T think its okay to apologise for unjust laws made in the past? Or do you? Which is it?

    A brave and bold step for you would be to get your own head in order to avoid confusing us with your angry tripe.

  43. “Will, as usual you twist my words to suit your own politically correct, liberal f_ckwit agenda.”

    What?!? Where do you get that nonsense from? So you don’t think an apology is in order for unjust laws? I am not arguing that laws can be changed in hindsight, you moron, but laws ARE changed because of hindsight, and apologies (rightly) are given for miscarriages of justice.

  44. Martin Aldershot: So like I said earlier, should the Italians apologise to the rest of Europe for the Roman Empire?

    Just because a law is superceded by another, does not necessarily mean it was wrong or unjust, just outdated. Britain’s laws were no different than virtually every other country at that time, and that was the standard the general public demanded. Had it been legalised sooner, there would have been total uproar.

    The bottom line is, better men than you wrote those laws with the best intentions, and like everything, it is all so much easier with the gift of hindsight.

  45. RobN’s oft-demonstrated inability to really THINK is pitiable.

    It is clear from all of his posts above that he has failed to see the very obvious difference between legislative change and legislation that has been superceded being permitted to be effective.

    It has also to be remembered that RobN has stated in these threads that he enjoys coming to these pages because he likes a good row.

    His constant insults to gay and lesbian people are shameful given that he is gay himself.

  46. Eddy: Pray tell me how I am being insulting to gay or lesbian people here? Unlike you, I argue with a practical, objective thought process, not one that rambles on about emotive topics and how people feel. I don’t deny I enjoy a good debate. One would think I like to play devil’s advocate, and sometimes I do, but usually I find that my opinions are directly opposite everyone elses.

    You may also notice there are many times I post and go with the general consensus of opinion on the forum. That rarely gets commented on. If you say something I agree with, I will be the first to support you. It’s just it’s about as often as a Labour cabinet member makes a truthful statement.

  47. RobN – are you seriously defending the requirement for gay people convicted of having consensual sex before 1967, to disclose this in job applications? There is nothing retrospective about this. You are supporting for demonising people for who they are now, in 2010.

    He has been told his ‘crime’ will not be erased until his 100th birthday.

    Actually, I call on anyone who is affected by this regulation, to symbolically apply for third-sector and educational jobs and NOT disclose this information.

  48. “It is clear from all of his posts above that he has failed to see the very obvious difference between legislative change and legislation that has been superceded being permitted to be effective.”

    Its also very obvious that Rob doesn’t understand the concept of miscarriage of justice, or the fact that atonement is a crucial process for most nations which have condemned others under unjust laws, such as German after the war, and SA’s Government of National Unity.

    Not too bright is our Rob in the area of cultural understanding or history.

  49. Mbosaramba 16 Feb 2010, 1:02am

    “Actually, I call on anyone who is affected by this regulation, to symbolically apply for third-sector and educational jobs and NOT disclose this information.”

    Ha! Symbolic applications is never existed, stupid!

    Also, your recommendation for homosxexuals to conceal their criminal past is immoral and very typical for Iranian type of homosexuals. Being born in lies, you live in lies and die in it. What a shame!

  50. “Also, your recommendation for homosxexuals to conceal their criminal past is immoral and very typical for Iranian type of homosexuals”

    Ah, yes. Iran. The country one does NOT go to for human rights. So, who let you off the fascist leash, Mbosaramba, to go playing in “unholy gay sites”?

    Me thinks the “curiosity” is as fake as the bad English, hmmmm?

  51. Ah yes, Iran…that great Bastian of upstanding moral law & punishment…get real!

  52. There are two matters here, as I said earlier. One is regarding the criminal record, and the other is a request for an apology.
    My opinion is that the crime was committed, and that is a defined fact, it cannot be hidden, removed or redacted. However, as the law has changed, and that law is no longer on statute, it must not be used in any reference check or held against someone as historical evidence.

    As for apologies, like I said, the people that created the laws at the time were doing it with the best of intentions. They did nothing wrong, and so should not be demonised because the law has since changed, hopefully for the better.

  53. Someone very near to me was convicted of Cottaging in 1981 and even though he entered a plea of not guilty, he was pronounced guilty and fined £50.00.
    Every time he applies for any job requiting clearance, this offence rears its ugly head again.
    I feel it’s quite disgraceful that in this day and age, this really decent guy has to submit to disclosure and possibly his reputation shredded by careless talk.
    How on earth do we put a stop to this?

  54. Omar Kuddus 16 Feb 2010, 3:40pm

    Earnest Hemingway once said ” The world is a fine place and worth fighting for”.
    To take poetic licence i am going to add so are LGBT rights and equality and we all deserve to be treated as Equal in the year 2010 despite what the laws were when LGBT’S were treated as criminals and the freedom that the LGBT community take for granted today were not in existence.
    The generation that finds it “acceptable” to be treated as a “criminal” for being gay, i am definite would not feel the same or not act unsympathetically if they were persecuted today for their sexuality or for the mere fact that they were from the LGBT community.
    One forgets that Homosexuality was “illegal”and can one imagine living in a society where , in the free west one was “criminalised” for ” being Gay”.
    I may fight for the rights of venerable / in-dangered LGBT’s word wide for their sexuality but i never forget that the freedom that we now enjoy in the west was fought for and fought for with toil and discrimination and effort.
    Where is Stonewall? They are playing it safe as per usual and keeping their distance.

  55. @squidgy I agree with you and yes I shall sign any petition anyone starts to help stop this practice. People must learn from the mistakes of the past and thus discrimintary laws must not be repeated. If a gay man was convicted and punished for a past homosexual ‘crime’ then that must be the end of it. I do not see why he has to keep paying for the stupidity of unfair, homophobic laws just because some ignorant heterosexual law makers are anti-gay. We have always had the right (hidden for a time) to live our lives as gays but it has taken the rest of the world a long time to catchup to and accept that fact. Persecution of gays is still alive. Where do I sign?

  56. Barry: Your friend committed a crime. FACT. He knew it was a crime. It still IS a crime. If you don’t want an albatross hung round your neck for the rest of your life, don’t go hanging around Gent’s public toilets at 4 in the morning.

    What is disgraceful is trying to hide your criminal record because you personally feel it shouldn’t be a crime.

    I’m sure there are lot’s of paedophiles and people on the sex offenders register that feel the same way.

  57. Mbosaramba 16 Feb 2010, 5:00pm

    Mr. RobN, I am a little bit puzzled about you. In one comment you stated that it is OK to kill human beings, even it is against the law, while now, in your current comment, you are clearly standing for the law, regardless the personal feelings, opinions, etc.

    Don’t you see the contradiction in your position?

    I am wating for your clarification.

    Thank you.

  58. Isn’t it just marvellous how Mbosaramba’s English has literally improved in a matter of days! Astounding progress! Yesterday he could barely conjugate a verb, and now, that last posting is practically native English speaking. My, my… truly remarkable progress.

    Isn’t it great he’s learning so much from us gay people? We are a beacon for the dumb and illiterate.

  59. Mbosaramba: I AT NO POINT stated it was “OK to kill people” – your perception of my statement, not mine.

    What I said was the law should be changed. The law is the law, for better or worse, and it is an ass, but it is what we base a civilised society on, and if you start to ignore it because you think better, for whatever reason, then we descend very quickly into anarchy.

    If people are not happy with a law, then you raise enough awareness of it so that MPs discuss it, and amendments may be made. The fact that this cretinous government has created over 6,000 new laws since they came into power, averaging one a day.

    How in God’s name we will ever get to repeal that lot, I really don’t know. As long as the flagship fox-hunting bill gets the bullet, I will be a happy man.

  60. I understand that this situation must reopen old wounds, and the situation needs to be looked at again. However, it does need to be put into context. He is not being asked to reveal the conviction on every application he makes – only those that require a CRB check. The guidance for those seeking a disclosure from the CRB is that they have to assess the conviction information – and one of those criteria is whether ‘the offence has been decriminalised by Parliament’. That being the case, the conviction should not count against him. See http://www.crb.homeoffice.gov.uk/PDF/CIPD_Employing_ex-offenders%20guide.pdf

    I can’t really see that there is a case for financial compensation – unless there is a case that he can show that he has been disadvantaged in some way.

  61. Marcus: That is quite true. I have clients that specialise in high security reference checks, and they retain the information. If you as an employer ask for a CRB check on someone, you will get a returned response “pass”, or “fail”. There is no explanation as to the reasons why they have failed.

  62. Jean-Paul Bentham 17 Feb 2010, 2:31am

    @59:

    Touché! “We are a beacon for the dumb and illiterate.”

  63. Gay activist Paul Mitchell 18 Feb 2010, 1:00pm

    Gordon Brown the PM of the UK should pass a law that says:
    I made up this bill
    CRIMINAL RECORDS (PRIOR TO 1967) BILL 2010
    (i) This bill takes effect on assent.
    Part 1
    any gay men or bisexual man who was convicted of an offence prior to 1967 in regard to the following –
    (a) buggery;
    (b) sodomy;
    (c) homosexual acts;
    (d) gross indecency between males;
    (e) gay sex
    (f) sex between men and/or;
    (g) any other law that discriminates against bi or bisexual men, gay men and/or homosexual men
    shall all be pardoned individually and have there criminal records fully deleted or abolished from all –
    (a) court files;
    (b) records and/or archives;
    (c) police record data bases,
    (d) registered and/or unregistered criminal record checks;
    (e) sex offender registry and/or;
    (f) includes dates on computers of offenders from the central British legal networks and/or overseas networks.
    Part 2
    (i) the whole UK Government must apologize to every single gay man formally in the UK and especially the ones who were convicted in the UK who were not British citizens at that time who were convicted of those above crimes mentioned in part 1 (a)-(g)
    (ii) the whole UK Government that caused suicides, harm, hatred, mental health problems within the gay men’s community and/or encouraging hatred or extreme prejudice it cause in the past for the convictions for the 1886 UK law on gross indecency between males and of those above crimes mentioned in part 1 (a)-(g)
    (iii) the above provision(s) are all rebuttable.
    (iv) this law called the CRIMINAL RECORDS (PRIOR TO 1967) ACT 2010 shall be reviewed in 5 years time (other wise known as a “sunset clause”.
    (v) this law called the CRIMINAL RECORDS (PRIOR TO 1967) ACT 2010 is to be fully retroactive and to have taken to be commenced before assent.

  64. Paul Mitchell: Please wake up, smell the coffee and get into the rteal world and stop twatting about with pointless ‘wish lists’.
    The law is defined in statute, and cannot be reversed, only repealed.
    Live with it.

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