Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Convicted for buggery 51 years ago – and still paying a price

The crime no longer exists but, half a century on, John Crawford's criminal record dogs his every step.

For more than half a century John Crawford's crime has cast a shadow over his life; a permanent stigma etched into the files of the national police database. His conviction in 1959 was for consensual sex with another man – which is no longer a crime – and based on a confession extracted only after weeks of beatings in a police cell.

But 51 years later, Crawford has been told he is legally bound to disclose his criminal record for "buggery", received when he was just 19, when applying to work with vulnerable people. The retired butler, now 70, is seeking to clear his name in what he hopes will be a landmark legal campaign against the residual consequences of laws which, although expired, continue to persecute homosexuals.

Read the full article in the Guardian here.

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