A gay retired British banker living in Uganda could face seven years’ imprisonment after his sexuality was made public by a Ugandan newspaper that unearthed a pornographic video from his laptop.
Bernard Randell was charged with “trafficking obscene publications” after Uganda’s Red Pepper splashed details of the video on its front page under the headline: “Exposed – Top City Tycoons Sodomy Sex Video Leaks.”
The 65-year-old is now too afraid to leave his Kampala home. “Our worst fear is that we go out and there’s a mob that does something naughty to us – beats us up or even kills us”, he told ITV News.
Mr Randell claims the film was unearthed by robbers who stole his laptop and passed the footage to the newspaper.
He was arrested earlier this month and appeared at Entebbe Magistrates’ Court with a Ugandan man last week.
Both men have since been released on bail until 18 November.
Mr Randell’s lawyer confirmed he had been charged with trafficking an obscene publication.
In its court reporting Uganda’s Daily Monitor claimed the men had been subjected to “medical tests” which confirmed they had engaged in “homosexual acts”.
But the Ugandan Directorate of Public Prosecutions told the BBC that whether or not homosexuality was involved, they were not being charged with that crime.
The UK Foreign Office said: “We are aware of the arrest of a British national on 19 October in Uganda and are providing consular assistance.”
Same-sex sexual relationships are illegal in Uganda with little to no legal protections existing for the LGBT community. A male convicted of same-sex activity can face up to life behind bars while a woman can face up to seven years.