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London: Pensioner fights to clear gay criminal record

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  1. I hope that it does not prove to be difficult for him to get it erased?

    Good luck to him.

  2. Pay attention to all those opposed to Gay marriage and Adoption rights….times change and until they do people get hurt for the rights YOU take for granted.

  3. As much as I do hope things go smoothly for him, he’s not really ‘fighting’ to get his record cleared. He can, hopefully, get his criminal record wiped with no problems. He’s not facing a legal battle, nobody’s opposing him, all he has to do is send an application.
    Stop making misleading headlines, Pink News.

    1. A little ungracious Alex. This man has taken the courage to highlight the issue and although I have heard of the right to clear such a record I have not heard of anyone actually doing it. Let’s therefore wait and see how ‘easy’ it actually is, if obstacles are put in the way, if further information is called for, if letters are clumsily sent to wrong addresses etc etc.

      1. Ungracious, perhaps, but his comment serves the post-1967 gay convictions that Theresa May did not include in the recent amnesty (on the basis that such behaviour was still illegal). I refer to convictions post-1967 and until 2003 for ‘soliciting or persistently importuning by man for immoral purposes’ which relied on an agent provocateur or pretty policeman to establish the context. Unlike gross indecency, those convicted for ‘soliciting’ were not even having sex with anyone and yet the terrible stigma is still on an enhanced CRB certificate which prohibits many viable work opportunities and volunteering where they are effectively treated as a risk to children and vulnerable adults. Soliciting nowadays suggests prostitution. Gross indecency, the other repealed cottaging or cruising conviction is a term now used to describe sex offences against children. Frankly, the future for those with gay convictions remains bleak. The law needs to change now to stop these gay disclosures.

      2. Ungracious, maybe, but it serves to highlight the problem of the post 1967 convictions Theresa May did not include in the recent amnesty (on the basis that such behaviour was still illegal) such as ‘soliciting or persistently importuning by man for an immoral cause’ which relied on agents provocateurs or pretty policemen for the context. Soliciting nowadays infers prostitution as gross indecency effectively suggests offences against children. These both still appear on enhanced CRB checks, are moral judgements and they fuel perceptions of danger to children or vulnerable adults. Doors for employment or voluntary work slam shut. Frankly, the future is still bleak and humiliating for those with gay convictions. The law must change to stop these homophobic disclosures from another age on CRB certificates and now. What can be done?

      3. What about the stigma of the post-1967 offences Theresa May didn’t include in the recent amnesty? Nobody seems to be campaigning for their removal. I can’t understand why since they relied on homophobic agents provocateurs for their context. The stigma for convictions of soliciting or gross indecency is enormous. The law must change and now to stop these disclosures which are not an indication of risk to children or vulnerable adults but convictions for sexual orientation and gay sex respectively. The lives are those convicted remain ruined.

        1. Thank you Philip. You are highlighting the issues that concern me – and hence my reason for posting, and just how limited this ‘amnesty’ may be. I understood that one could apply to wipe off a conviction for gross indecency, but my worry would be that anyone choosing to do so could well up going through a lot of painful hassle with no guarantee that it would be wiped. Is there detailed guidance anywhere where people could be referred to?

          1. Sadly, I have no idea how it might have worked in practice since nobody has published a relevant success story. However, the amnesty promises very little as most people convicted pre-1967 will already have retired. So, while pointing in the direction of serious issues that need urgently to be faced, it accomplishes little. We really need to raise consciousness with our MPs and with whatever other means available because the situation, as it stands for many of us, occurred not only in a context of heightened discrimination in a different social context from that of today, but, no less, leaves many ruined careers exacerbated by the present economic climate with no prospects.

  4. Given the job applied for, his conviction would seem to be more a qualification than a bar.

    1. Police homophobia, simply buried 28 Nov 2012, 3:49pm

      Perhaps he should have worn a shell suit, blond wig & carried a big cigar when he applied for the post as the corrupt police & prison authorities seemingly would have blessed & welcomed him in with open arms as one of their own

  5. What a brave man, and a fine man, for making this issue public.

    The mere fact that we can look at a pic of this man who is alive today but who has a criminal record merely for having had a gay relationship provides ALL of us with food for thought.

    We must also bear in mind how the Marriage Equality issue has exposed a vast number of homophobes here in the UK today.

    And we must also bear in mind that throughout the centuries freedoms won have often been snatched back. We cannot take our progress for granted!

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 28 Nov 2012, 12:38pm

      Exactly right, Eddy. That’s why equal marriage is vitally important. Those in opposition have absolutely no clue what discrimination means. They come into this world with blinkers on where they are not denied any rights. Marriage for them is a birth right, never having to think of the unthinkable, not being able to marry or being told you can’t because of who you are. Many profess religion, yet none of them are ‘christians’ in the truest sense of the word, far from it. The pick and choose this and that, discard certain aspects that don’t quite sit comforably with them and use what they have to justify discrimination but scream “abuse of religious freedom” when challenged on their bigoted views. Nobody counters them, that’s the sad part, not the media, not our MPs in support, no one. That has to change and the time is NOW.

  6. Gay Activist Paul Mitchell 28 Nov 2012, 12:30pm

    All criminal records that list gay sex or homosexual sex on them should be PARDONED!

    This is 2012 in one months time and three days it will be 2013!

    Let me just check the Callander again…

    I am 100 percent sure this is 2012 and not 1912 or did I miss the invention of the time machine somewhere?

    1. sure they did, in 1963, some guy called William Hartnell traveling in a time machine that looked like a police box :P

    2. Spanner1960 28 Nov 2012, 6:09pm

      What these people did was at the time illegal.
      They knew that when they committed the acts.
      I am a gay man and would likely have done the same, but that does not make any difference in the eyes of the law.
      What is important though is that recognition of the change in those laws, and records of such crimes only be used in very limited and specific circumstances, and they should not be freely available.

  7. Robert in S. Kensington 28 Nov 2012, 12:34pm

    The very best of luck to this man. I hope he eventually finds peace of mind and his record wiped clean.

  8. An appalling situation to find oneself in, realising only at this late stage that he’s had a criminal record for so long, and horrible to contemplate the possibility that it’s affected his employability for the last 5 decades. Best of luck to him in having it reversed.

  9. i must be missing something here, but why does he have to “apply” to have it squashed? surely its more efficient and better all round if they just wiped these convictions off automatically

  10. Poor chap. Such a shameful period of history. Good luck to him.

  11. Sadly- many police officers still regard all gay men as criminals. Thats why they waste so much time trawling through “squirt” etc to see where we are meeting each other. Many of my friends have been aggressively questioned-just because they happen to be sat in a car in a public car park or lay by. Purely because they are gay-and the police automatically assume they are “criminals”.

    1. Sister Mary Clarence 28 Nov 2012, 2:16pm

      Not sure that is entirely connected to this man’s story

    2. Police homophobia, simply buried 28 Nov 2012, 3:36pm

      Agree with John – Police ‘equality & diversity’ is still all smoke & mirrors as police have yet to grasp homosexuality decriminalised in 1967, ten years after Wolfeden enquiry. In Cornwall police in 2005 were of the opinion equal age of gay consent at 16 did not come into affect until 2004, as was a judge (Rucker) in 2006. All they had to do was Google it to see it was Jan 2001.

  12. I hope he gets his record cleared quickly and without any issues – good luck to him.

  13. aharon ben yossef 28 Nov 2012, 3:23pm

    Can only wish you every possible success in applying for a clear record, which is in fact no record at all. In those days it was called “Nothing Adverse Known”, the closest you could get to innocence under a system where suspicion was the name of the game. Continue to be strong and of good courage, Brother.

  14. Spanner1960 28 Nov 2012, 6:06pm

    Whilst previous convictions are history, and should technically not be erased, I see no reason why the man’s old records should be generally publicly available, and they should certainly not be taken into account with such things as ECB and CRB vetting checks.

  15. If it is not a crime today any records should be destroyed.

    They cannot be pardoned though as they were not true injustices, they were actual laws that were actually broken. You can’t rewrite history. But you can stop using that history to persecute people today.

  16. “Gay guys don’t realise how lucky they are to be able to kiss in the street. In my time in the ’50s you’d be arrested instantly.”

    Only in a small area in a few large English cities. In the rest of the country we’re more likely to be stoned…..

  17. David Skinner 28 Nov 2012, 9:21pm

    Nothing will wash this man of his criminal record except the blood of Jesus. God laughs at the puny attempts of mere man to reorder the universe to his own liking.
    Oh what a terrible shock when he arrives the other side of death, only to find not just his homosexuality but every single sin still written in the book. It will then be too late to repent.

    1. The blood of Jesus? Are you a vampire of some sort, sweetie?

    2. Spanner1960 29 Nov 2012, 3:50am

      Who rattled Skinner’s cage?
      I thought he’d shuffled off under a rock.

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