EroticArtist.co.uk
Always Fighting Censorship

 
 
 
Home      Defending Myself

 Defending Myself

 The Videx Video Show Trial

The QC appointed to me stared at me an amused expression on his face as I instructed him which witnesses to call at the forthcoming trial at the Old Bailey where I was charged with publishing an obscene article name the Videx Video Show. “Yes

“Derek Malcolm eh!  Yes you have some impressive witnesses there” the QC said grinning. He paused dramatically.” Unfortunately I can’t call them” he said.

I looked at him in amazement. “Not another bent bastard” I thought. “But I have studied the history of porn trial acquittals and this is how they were acquitted by calling expert witnesses in their defence and these are the witness that I am instructing you to call” I said vehemently.

“Not with me as your counsel you won’t” he said a smug expression on his face.

There had been no change in the law I knew for certain. “But there has been no change in the law saying  one call expert witnesses” I said.

“There is an unwritten agreement in the legal profession and if you want to call those witnesses then you will have to represent yourself”  he said smiling as if that was a challenge that I would back down on.

I sat there trying to summon up the courage to stand up in court and defend myself in front of a jury. I remembered the last court appearance and my feeling of helplessness because I could not tell the jury the truth.

“Okay you are dismissed. I will defend myself” I said the dramatic words ringing in my ears as if spoken by another person. I saw the surprise on the QCs face. There was no going back now.

About two weeks later I got a letter from David Offenbach that instructed me that I had to attend a special meeting and extraordinary meeting before Sir James Miskin at the Central Criminal Court otherwise known as the Old Bailey.

Defending Myself

Chapter  9            

I opened my mail to find among other things that Offenbach had sent me including a document labelled THE QUEEN AGAINST MICHAEL FREEMAN JOHN EDWARD CURREY SARA BHASKARAN SIMON LINDSAY JAMES HONEY. L Ieafed through the document and found  “NFE Exhibit No.” I laughed as it was illustrated with a close-up picture of me during what the media had dubbed The Siege of Wimbledon looking out of the Videx offices window dressed in a black sweatshirt with Videx Videos emblazoned across the front wagging my finger.

“Hey Sara look at what Offenbach has just sent me.Oh Simon, Lindsay obviously does not like his Christian name” I said.

Sara giggled and looked at the picture of me. “You look great Mike, you are laughing and unafraid” she said.

“I’m still laughing now” I replied taking a puff on my pipe and turning the page to discover a newspaper photo of Ted Malman and Superintendent Kruger of the Porn Squad engaged in conversation surrounded by thousands of leaflets that I had thrown out of the window. In another photo I stared down out the two men while a woman reporter looked on. Then I came across a statement made by “Simon Lindsay James Honey” taken by Superintendent Peter Kruger taken at Wimbledon Police statement. I quickly read through it to see if he had admitted anything. “Good old Lindsay, he has replied “I don’t wish to make any comment” to most questions admitted being in the Videx Video Show. Kruger asks him if he knew that an ad showing pictures of naked children was inserted in several magazines he says “no Comment.” That’s what this case is all about daring to show pictures of naked children” I said.

“But what’s wrong with that, it’s just a beauty contest” Sara asked.

“These are people who believe that the public have to believe that there is something inherently indecent about the naked body; it’s all about controlling people.” I tried to explain. “Look here when charged under the Obscene Publications Act and the Protection of Children he says” I would like to say that I can see nothing at all offensive about the sequence included in The Videx Video Show filmed at the Eureka Sun Club. It is merely a documentary type sequence showing families indulging in a perfectly innocent past time i,e walking around with no clothes on.”

“Good boy Lindsay and they have taken the bait thinking that they are going to prove that the most innocent part of the Videx Video Show is indecent and obscene” I said. If we get a jury of our peers I think that we stand a good chance” I said.

 

I was due to appear at the Old Bailey today and after breakfast I sat down and had a good smoke of cannabis.

“I have always wanted to defend myself” I said to Sara as we prepared to leave.

“I think that you will be marvellous” Sara replied.

“Yes I am going to act like a real QC” I said combing my long hair back. “Sara can you tie a nice bow at the back from a piece of black velvet.

“It suits you Mike and goes with your beard and moustache” Sara said with a look of admiration.

“Pity that I don’t have a cape. We should have hired out a costume” I said giggling and admiring my reflection in the mirror.

Sara and I sat in the specially adjourned court in the Old Bailey awaiting the arrival of Sir James Miskin. Suddenly a curtain opened as if on a stage and two trumpeters appeared dressed in medieval costumes and began blowing a fanfare.

“This is nice” Sara said smiling at me naively.

“Yes it is, isn’t it” I replied smiling as Sir James appeared bewigged dressed in ermine robes and sat down upon his thrown. I knew that the Lords and Ladies of the legal profession were representatives of the upper classes who believed themselves to be royalty. Here I was a working class boy sitting before “His Lordship”  having been summoned to appear in this extraordinary summons. I guessed that it was something to do with dismissing Counsel and deciding to represent myself.

“Michael, may I call you Michael?” Sir James said smiling at me over his bifocals.

“Yes you may My Lord” I answered standing and putting my hand upon my hip imitating Jeremy Offenbach deciding to act as a QC and imitate their affected anachronistic speech and gestures as much as possible.

Sir James looked at me a surprised expression on his face. “Michael I have had you summoned here today because of this foolish decision, I think that you have made to dismiss your learned Queen’s Counsel and defend yourself. You may think that you know more about your case than anyone else but your appointed Queen’s Counsel can defend you better. I can give you the chance to change your mind and re-appoint counsel in your defence. What do you say?”

“I am very grateful to your Lordship for offering me this chance but I have to decline the offer for personal reasons” I replied.

I wrote letters to all the media I could think off including Time Out which had published articles that I had written.

 The Videx Video Show Trial

Chapter 10

The day of the Old Bailey trial grew nearer and one day in June 1983 Sara and I made our way to the Old Bailey. I carried an attaché case and as I entered the court it was put through an X-ray machine and as I glanced at the monitor it showed the outlines of all the objects inside and I could see the outline of all the contents inside. I could see the outline of my hash pipe clearly.

“Thank you Mr Freeman” the uniformed  X-ray machine operator said handing me back my case.

We entered a huge hall with marble columns and people walked across while others stood in groups and spoke in low voices about the cases that they were involved in. I found the court and a list of defendants was posted outside it headed THE QUEEN AGAINST MICHAEL FREEMAN JOHN EDWARD CURREY SARA BHASKARAN SIMON LINDSAY JAMES HONEY.

I looked around for Lindsay but couldn’t see him.” Want to go and have a puff” I informed Sara.

“All right then I’ll wait here” she said smiling.

The men’s’ toilet was an imposing place with WC cubicles that had large wooden doors made out of a dark wood that showed the grain, probably oak, that reached  the floor so that one could not look underneath. I sat down on the closed lid of the WC facing the cistern and crumbled up some powerful black Afghani into the bowl. I applied the lighter to the hash that I had got from Nigel, watching it glow red until it died a grey cinder and I held in the pungent smoke in my lungs, pressing my chin down upon my throat so as to lock in the smoke. The THC hit the receptors in my central nervous system and my brain began to buzz. I had another few pipes and watched the smoke float upwards until it was sucked out by the ventilator. As I waited for the evidence of smoking cannabis to disappear and the smell to disappear I noticed that unlike all other public toilets that I had visited there was a complete absence of graffiti and I realised that mainly the legal profession entered this side of the Old Bailey and that defendants in criminal trials usual came up from the cells. There was no “ACAB,” “Alfie 14 years” or drawings of penises or vaginas! These hallowed toilets were a prime example of the class structure of the British Class system and the legal profession were at the top of the hierarchy.

As I walked back into the huge ante chamber I felt the butterflies in my stomach and smiled confidently at Sara as I approached her. She thought that I was going to win this case and secure the acquittals of us all. A man appeared outside the courtroom and opened the doors.

“Come on let’s go in” I said and I took Sara’s hand and led her into the courtroom. “It’s empty” I said staring around this huge wood panelled room. I found the place where the leading QC usually stands and opened my attaché case.

“It’s huge and beautiful, all the decorations, the throne, the coats of arms” Sara observed sitting down beside me.

I had been in too many courtrooms in my life including this one and I had been found guilty in every case. I looked around the court and saw how it was set out, the dock where the guilty stood guarded by screws and uniformed officials, the raised dais of the judge’s throne, the public gallery up above looking down to see justice at work. No CCTV cameras here I noticed. “We will televise all court proceedings after the revolution” I said to Sara.

Just at that moment I glimpsed a movement up in the public gallery and Tuppy Owens, Vieta, Sarah and Nigel entered smiling down on me. I smiled back “This is my show” I thought. This was a test case for Thatcher’s Protection of Children Act and I was the first to be charged under it also it was a test case insofar as it was against the freedom of the people to enjoy uncensored erotic videos featuring explicit sex in their own homes. A not guilty in this case would, or should set the censorship criteria in Britain for the foreseeable future, “an historic moment in the history of censorship” I told myself.

The courtroom was starting to fill up now and Sara and I were led into the dock. Next to arrive was Lindsay Honey dressed in a smart suit and tie but still retaining his long bleached hair and a defiant diamond glittering in his ear, who was placed by the court officials next to Sara.

“Hello Lindsay, don’t worry we are all going to get off” I said grinning broadly.

“Please God Mike” he replied hugging Sara and kissing her on the cheek.

John Currey was last to arrive defeated, scowling, a dark glum expression on his face his jowls pulled downwards dressed in suit and tie as usual his dark, wavy, greying hair freshly barbered and combed as if he were going to a funeral. He looked at me as he was placed at the end away from me and gave an indignant accusing look as if to say “I’m here because of you.”

The bewigged judge sat upon his thrown and banged his gavel.

“Silence in court!” an official shouted.

I was led back to the place where the defence QC usually stood and I started to arrange the books and magazines that       I had brought with me. Time out had published a big article on the censorship of pornography and knew that it was supportive of me, there were also articles in other newspapers but I realised that there was a ban on reporting because another connecting case for perverting the course of public justice still was untried. I realised that I had agreed to this trick and that I would get no publicity during this trial.

I looked over and saw my legal team entering the court and beckoned to their solicitor’s clerk who came over. “I made a  mistake in agreeing for the cases to be separated and I want to join them together again” I explained.

“All right Michael I will convey your message to David he said. “By the way the jury will be selected in a moment and you can object to anyone that you feel would be against you and question them but don’t object to anyone unless it’s absolutely necessary.”

“All right I understand” I said smiling and feeling confident.

As the jury were sworn in I observed that they looked like my peers including four young women whom I smiled at as they took their seats and one black man who looked me straight in the eyes. These were the people who would look at the Videx Video Show and decide whether or not they thought that it was good or evil, that’s what it really was, I thought whether or not, that they thought that the sexual scenes depicted in the scenes were acceptable. I was confident that many of these people would have seen scenes of real fucking and sex on video before. I had read lately that many women were watching it now.

Soon all the formalities were over and it was almost time to start then the judge broke the silence.

“Ladies and gentlemen it is part of your duties in this case to watch the Videx Video Show and decide whether it would be liable to deprave and corrupt a person likely to come into contact with it or whether it contains any indecent images of children.” the judge said looking at the jury.

Then he switched his gaze to me and his eyes locked into mine.

“Michael Freeman the court will now see the Video Show and a police officer will operate it. Now after the film begins no one will be allowed to speak in this court including you. Do you understand?”

“Yes my Lord I understand perfectly” I replied.

The lights were dimmed in the court and the three video screens in the court, one facing me the other the jury while the judge had one in front of him flickered into life and an image of sex flashed into the screen...

“Stop” I shouted my voice echoing around the court room.

“Turn on the lights and stop the video” the judge ordered an angry tone to his voice. The lights went on and and he glared..”Mr Freeman you were told that as soon as the Videx Video Show went on you would stay silent. Why have you disrupted the court?”

“My Lord the titles and music are an important part of any director’s film and mine is no exception. I would like the Videx Video Show to be played from the beginning and not miss out the titles as in the present situation” I said my voice ringing righteously around the court while I looked at the jury nodding my head at the red faced  police detective who had deliberately started the film after playing it to the point where the tittles ended and started it there.

I noticed one male member of the jury looking at me and communicating by his facial expressions that he understood what trick that the detective of the Obscene Publications Squad had tried to pull.

“Play the Videx Video Show from the beginning” the judge ordered in a tone that said that he was not in on the dishonesty of the Porn Squad detective but the incident had rebounded to my benefit.

This time as the film began the court was filled with professional film music, titles rolled up on the screen, music De Wolfe, Roller Skating Baby, Wet Fun, Nude Family Fun, Spanking Sex, Romantic Landscape, Comedy, Current Sex Morals, Erotic Dancing, Comedy Sketch First Day at the Office, the last title was coming up now Written, Produced & Directed by Mike Freeman and his time there was absolute silence in court as roller Skating Baby starring Freda Hague appeared on the screen. Freda was a professional skater and I remembered moving the lighting rig and disc jockey out of the studio into the street and the surrealistic scene as Freda pirouetted on a big metal drain cover in the middle of the road. I had persuaded her to take off one of the two pairs of knickers that she had been wearing under her short skating skirt and as her skirt flew up most male eyes would find the flash of her tight white knickers erotic. The End rolled up on the screen as Freda finished her routine and Wet Fun appeared a bath orgy scene featuring the stars of Couples and I wondered how the jury would react to explicit sexual imagery but as I watched the happy smiling faces of the actors fucking and sucking, the beautiful colours of the Manhattan suite in Mayfair accompanied by soft music I relaxed. The End appeared again and Nude Family Fun appeared the sequence I knew that had made those above think that they could take me out and send me back to prison for a long time then quietly recall me on my life licence saying that I was a danger to the public and by the time that I got out, if ever, I would be a broken penniless old man.

As the scenes of the Eureka Sun camp appeared on the screen and it was filled with naked bodies set against the green countryside of Kent I knew that it was my figures in a landscape, a vision of humans naked and unashamed of all ages. To me it  was beautiful and I knew that what those above found indecent were the images of pubertal  teenage girls whose emerging sexuality Nature had made so erotic to the male of the species. The optimum age in girls to become pregnant was fourteen in order to create the perfect human baby with the most chances of survival. Controlling the sexual libido of young girls was a way of controlling the fruitful from multiplying and controlling males that would procreate with them. Control is control per se the thoughts were going through my head as I remembered Sara and I setting our shooting equipment in a concealed spot among the trees and waiting for the BBC Game for a Laugh team to arrive.

The space in front of the catwalk was filling up not with naked people but with hundreds of males all of whom wore cameras around their bodies with telephoto lenses sticking out in front like erect penises. It was Fun Day a once a year even. Open to the public where the owner earned enough in one day to keep the five acre naturist camp going all year round and had contributed largely to the cost of a swimming pool. But no-one was in the pool today they were all crowded round the catwalk or as contestants preparing to walk out onto the stage and be judge on the perfection of their bodies, male adult and child, female adult and child.

“There they come” Sara said.

 I turned the camera to capture the arrival of the Game for A Laugh Team who I wondered would be game for the laugh that I intended to play on them. Sarah Kennedy leading the crew armed with a clip board. I panned slowly as the set up in front of the stage. The visitors were only allowed to take pictures of the stage and their cameras and flashguns were silent and my headphones picked up the low buzz of the crowd. I turned the directional microphone and pointed it at Sarah Kennedy, known as The Matron in the BBC and I was recording her voice giving orders to the cameramen.

Then Sid the owner, who was acting as compere today walked naked onto the stage except for his socks and shoes that immediately created the image of pictures that I used to sell in the Sixties. Socks were as de rigeur as stockings and suspenders in those days and were seen as a fetish article. I sat watching the sequence that I had created as bait for the authorities and grinned there in the subdued light of the court thing how artistic my imagery was. I noticed that hardly a camera clicked or a flash gun went off as the Mr Eureka contestants walked onto the stage except for those of naturist friends and families.  The undercover police officer with whom I was friends had the best body there and I knew that he would win. Then the adult women paraded and there was a fair amount of interest with flashes going off then came the teenage girls and a thousand cameras flashed and video cameras whirred.

I noticed that the BBC crew were right underneath the stage and pointing their cameras directly upwards to obtain a worms eye view of the girls’ and I knew that they were taking close-ups of their genitalia whereas I was in long shot.

“Okay let’s come out so they can see us” I said taking the camera off the legs as we broke cover. Sara and I were naked and I had a battery belt around my waist and I walked down the grassy hill towards the BBC team. I steadied and got a shot of one of the crew telling Sarah Kennedy that they were being filmed.

Sarah Kennedy shouted out to the rest of the crew that they were being filmed and the two camera moved away from their positions under the stage and took up different shooting positions. They filmed for a short time capturing the end of the show when the winners were crowned. “Cut” she shouted and they started to pack up their equipment.

“Take the camera and film me talking to The Matron” I said.

“Okay Mike” Sara replied taking the camera.

As Sarah Kennedy walked up the hill to the car park in the woods I tried to intercept her. “I want to talk to you” I said.

“Get away from me you maniac” she screamed her eyes fixed on my big penis that swayed fascinatingly to the rhythm of my body as I ran towards her.

As she ran into the car park I was laughing out loud watched by the amused members of the Eureka Sun Club and crowds of departing male photographers who had come from far and wide, even from abroad to capture forbidden images of teenage girls. Then I approached the camera crew who were still packing up their equipment. I noticed the sweat marks under their arm pits on this baking hot summer’s day. “Come on take off your clothes and liberate yourselves” I cried.

The crew all looked at me a mixture of emotions on their faces realising that in this bizarre situations of being the only ones with clothes on being surrounded by hundreds of naked people that they were the odd ones out. The End appeared again. I saw no evil and the words that were above the judge’s head went through my head “Honi soit qui mal y pense” as the title Spanking Sex-Evelyn Simmonds is a girl who really enjoys spanking and coming and gets it hard from Lindsay Honey and Jane Griffiths before indulging in an uninhibited threesome. I watched the film and I flashed back to the day that I made it. Evelyn and Jane were nurses and amateur porn models who had done lots of spanking related photo shoots before they met me and were really into the scene in real life. The sound of spanking and caning filled the Old Bailey court room and then were replaced by the sighs and sounds of an uninhibited threesome before The End appeared again and Romantic Landscape appeared. Two young lovers strolled across the Surrey Downs and then made love among the swaying long grass, the whole episode was beautiful. The End appeared and Current Sex Morals-Teenage girls are interviewed about virginity and I thought about the Christian religion that valued chastity as a virtue that made one “holy and pure,” the paedophile priests, chaste nuns punished by Nature with cervical cancer and the thousands of young people persecuted and criminalised by the British legal system for obeying the natural biological programming and indulging in forbidden pleasures, the shame and guilt of masturbatory teens as they confessed to a priest and were made to say penance, then there was Erotic Dancing - Carla is an exotic dancer with really nice big tits she enjoys erotic dancing and turning you on. As beat music filled those hallowed chambers and Carla danced across the three screens I wondered how people saw evil in sex then the End appeared again and Comedy Sketch First day at the Office-It’s Nicky’s first day in the office at his first ever job. Introducing Jessica Bond a beautiful teenage blonde as the boy loving Della. Videx Viewers are destined to see a lot more of this leggy blonde. As the film played  I remember shooting  Frankie as she walked down Wimbledon High Street and male heads turning as the watched her dressed in tight white shorts as I filmed her secretly from the Videx office windows and then fucking her in Cannes. Then came The End and the last short film appeared on my screen Comedy-When it is time for a laugh with the comical adventures of PC Knockers the bent copper without any knackers played by Michelle a genuine transsexual former TV star of The Sweeny and Z Cars now a video star. In this comedy sketch we have Michelle as PC Knockers. Peter Orlando as Inspector Knacker of the Yard . Poarn as Miss Hotlips Knackers nubile Thai secretary, and five of her lovely girls Kerry Turner, Karen James, Jill Cooper and Soona.

As the sequence played and a crowd of kids follow PC Knockers along the road I could not resist a chuckle...

I watched the two hour show happy that III had made an artistic film where everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. Freda the skater appeared on the screen skating out in the street where I had set up a light and sound show and skated and twirled between the North London street that I had transformed into a surrealistic set.

“Ladies gentlemen of the jury you have seen the film the Videx Video Show and I feel that this is a good time to adjourn the court until two ’clock and have lunch. You may talk about the film yourselves but not to other people.

“Michael Freeman you will undertake to remain within the building during lunch?”

“Yes my Lord” I said tersely, taking Sara’s hand and leading her towards the door.

Everyone started to file out of the court.

The restaurant was full of people and spotting Lindsay sitting with a solicitor I gave a wave and Sara did too. Lindsay made a motion that meant that “I’m with my solicitor. I saw the solicitor’s clerk approaching.’

“Hello Michael, do you see that man Lindsay is talking to. That’s David Sullivan’s solicitor and his QC might run a defence of duress against you” the solicitor’s clerk said and then was gone.

I looked over at Lindsay and realised that his QC could weaken my defence if he turned against men Of course Lindsay could say that he had no control over what his QC said.  Sullivan was obviously paying for Lindsay’s defence and would try to get me convicted.

I went into the lavatory again and entered the dark wood panelled room and took out my pipe and smoked until I was high. The Afghani was a really clear high and I walked towards Sara who stood waiting outside the court a spring in my step knowing that despite Sullivan’s negative influence I could still win.  Sara and I walked into the court hand in hand and sat down.

“Michael Freeman you have chosen to defend yourself, a mistake I feel but in deference to you and because you have no previous experience I make a suggestion. You as the Prosecutrix would lead but I suggest that we reverse the usual order and that you listen to the learned QCs for your fellow defendants before making your own speech. You forgo first bite of the cherry so to speak. What do you say?”

“I thank his Lordship for his kind advice but I will stick to custom and take first bite of the cherry my Lord” I replied assuming an arrogant look with my chin up, my hand on my hip. I could see by his look of surprise that the judge was taken aback my confident answer and show of authority.

“All right then you will lead the defence, so you may like to start” the judge said.

I looked up at the big clock on the wall that was on the hour and felt butterflies in my stomach, the court was absolutely silent, no one was allowed to speak but me and as the clock ticked I could feel the tension rise. The actor in me wanted to build that tension further and hold it to breaking point before shattering the silence with a word. I was directing the biggest scene in my life. I played with the law and reference books and typed notes that I had brought along and the tension became tangible. I looked at the big clock it was almost five past now and I still had not spoken. Suddenly I decided to speak and directed my gaze at the jury my gaze travelling along their eyes, meeting them and smiling, several faces were sympathetic.

“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury” I said fixing my gaze on a thirtyish male in the front row who I knew was the foreman of the jury.  “I am  here today because I dared to make the Videx Video Show. Normally the way people see it is that they answer an ad like this I said holding up the Knave men’s magazine.

The judge banged his gavel. “Mr Freeman you have not introduced this magazine as a listed exhibit and you may not show it to the jury unless you introduce it officially” the judge said pompously.

I held up the magazine. “I only showed it from a distance in order to illustrate to the members of the jury the way in which a person would most likely come into contact with the Videx Video Show my Lord” I said.

“All right carry on now but don’t do it again” the judge said.

I turned immediately back to the jury and engaged the eyes of the foreman. “Members of the jury this is the way a person is most like to come into contact with the Videx Video Show, fill in the coupon on the bottom and enclose a cheque payable to Videx Ltd. You ladies and gentlemen are seeing it as part of your jury service. You have to decide that if a person in a free country sends of for a film like this is liable to be depraved and corrupted. What do deprave and corrupt mean I sad holding up a copy of the Oxford English dictionary. “I have looked up deprave and corrupt in the Oxford English dictionary and they both mean the same thing “to make bad.”  I stood my hands on hips looking at the jury letting the words sink in hearing my voice as it was amplified. I realised that whoever had designed this court had made it into an auditorium where one’s voice rang true and clear. I thought of the fact that the ring of Truth has a certain decibel rating and can be measured on instruments as well as the healthy human brain. “Have you been made bad, are you depraved and corrupted? No of course not, have you seen any evil, any suffering any pain? Why am In in this court today when Video Nasties, that are nothing more than pseudo snuff films featuring the murder mutilation of young women and girls? I do have rules about what I make I said picking up a book entitled the Report on Film Censorship and Obscenity and holding it up despite the judge’s warning. I heard him cough but no speech about introducing the book as a listed exhibit. He had realised that he could not control me.

“This government commissioned report the Report on Film Censorship and Obscenity was chaired by professor Bernard Williams became known as the William’s Report and it was my guideline. The report took evidence from all the experts on the effects of pornography on society and concluded that with the exception of child pornography and bestiality adults should be allowed to watch uncensored explicit sexual imagery.  All across Europe the free democracies have allowed their public to watch porno. Porno is a fun word in almost every other country in Europe. I don’t believe in censorship but I didn’t set out deliberately to break the law but to change it.

I sensed a ripple through the court and glanced at the clock and it was almost time to go home. “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury I thank for your patience in listening to my defence today but I see that it is time for us all to go home.

The judge shot me an annoyed glance as he ended the first day of the Videx Video Show trial.

Day Two of the Trial

Chapter 11       

“I think that the young guy in the middle of the front row in the foreman of the jury” I said.

“I think that he likes you” Sara observed.

“I think that we now stand a very good chance of getting off. I read somewhere the more people watch porn the more acceptable the behaviour depicted becomes and I will be able to send them out to watch certain bits in the jury room again and again” I said with a chuckle.

Day two in Court

I walked into the court and as usual Sara and I were the first ones to arrive. Then people stared to file in the Obscene Publications Squad , the Dirty Dozen glancing over at me as I looked at my notes and various books acting the part of the confident counsel who is going to win his case. Inside my stomach was churning the butterflies were there. I glanced back at the Porn Squad and met their hostile gaze and a small smile appeared at the corner of my lips. “Yes you bent  bastards” I silently mouth the words at my enemies. I recognised some of them the ones that had raided my house in Surrey one late afternoon. Trampling around my house and searching everywhere, taking eight grams of pure Afghani that I had just scored from Nigel. Sara making them a pot of tea into which she added some very pure LSD and serving it to me. Two detectives taking to m parent’s house, my father greeting them as mates when he opened the door. Them taking me into my old little bedroom where I grew up from the days of the London Blitz and asking me to start paying them again like I did in the Sixties. They must have heard that I was a good payer. I remember their anger when I refused to paying them for a license. The threat of keeping my expensive shooting equipment, their angry retort when I told them it would be legalised soon anyway.

The angry red faced Porn Squad detective gave me a contemptuous look. “It will never be legalised. Do you know why? There’s too much money in it you cunt” then he gunned the engine and raced away up Kingswood Road at high speed his souped up Q car making a growl.

I stood there outside 4 Kingswood watching the tail lights disappear up the hill. Doubt crossed my mind. Here I was acting out the role of the man who legalised porn for adults in 1983. I would start a new Golden Age of the erotic cinema, all the great artists would stop pre-censoring their work and erotic masterpieces would be created.

“This court in now in session!” a voice rang out

“Michael Freeman, the court is now in session and you may continue outlining your defence.

The judge’s voice penetrated my head and I took a deep breath and looked at the jury my gaze travelling along their faces and smiling, coming to rest on the foreman of the jury. “Good morning Ladies and gentlemen. “What was I going to say, where did I leave off yesterday” I thought. I was really high today. “Ladies and gentlemen imagine you are walking down the street and there is a cinema showing two surprise free films.  It’s a promotion you believe. You go in after all everyone loves a freebie” I said smiling. I saw several of the jury smile back. You go in and sit down and read a big notice that says if you don’t like this film you can go through the green door and watch the other free film. So the cinema is full and the lights are dimmed you eyes look at the screen and the scenario is some teenagers going to a log cabin in the woods they are on vacation. The next scene is of a girl alone in her room, she is admiring herself in the mirror, she looks like the girl next door. You puts on make-up, pouts in the mirror and then she lies on the bed her hand slowly travelling upwards until it goes between her legs. She closes her eyes and we see that she is dreaming of having sex with her boyfriend. She is below the age of consent at sixteen in America in the state of Alabama. I looked at the women on the jury and smiled.

“We cut to outside of her window and see a sinister figure watching her through a gap in the curtains. Suddenly we cut to a close-up of her face and her lips are open gasping, suddenly the camera pans down her scantily clad body and we see that the pervert outside has entered holding a phallic knife and he has pierced her body. Cut back.to9 girl’s fast and she is dying.  A notice flashes across the screen. If you don’t like explicit scenes of violence against women then leave through the green and go to the other free show for adults, with no violence only sex. The lights go on and a voice says that there will be a short intermission now while people change free cinemas. Ladies and gentlemen which cinema show would you go through? In the film business these days there are two ways of of emotionally moving the audience, sex or violence but although there is very little restrictions on explicitly violent imagery, pseudo snuff films for example, there are enormous state restrictions on the distribution of sexually explicit imagery, therefore if you want to carry on making movies for a living then you have to pre-censor your work and that it what happens in the world today. It is my opinion that watching violent films makes one feel violent and from time to time we get a civilian member of the public committing some mass killings that bear an amazing similarity of many film plots. If there was no censorship of erotic movies for adults and someone imitated the behaviour depicted in the film then there would be more sex in the world and less violence.   

The Williams Committee recommended the legalisation of porn for adults in the light of Denmark’s experience and the report of Doctor Berl Kutchinski of the Department of Forensic Science. After a five year legalisation of uncensored porn for adults on video Kutchinski reported a massive eighty two pent decline in crimes of violence against women. Professor Williams knew that after his five year report that he could recommend the legalisation of uncensored porn for adults in Britain with the same results as Denmark because both were modern European democracies. The report ignored  and buried because Thatcher came into power and immediately shelved it. Her views on the permissive society are well know pornography being part of that permissiveness and make love not war.

Suddenly I looked at the clock. It was nearly midday and time for lunch.

“I think that it’s going well and that we will all be acquitted” I said.

“You are a very powerful speaker Mike and I am sure that the jury will acquit you” Sara replied.

Suddenly I noticed Sullivan’s solicitor walking towards me then he halted in front of the table and pulled out a chair and sat down.

“You are doing well and the jury likes you” he said in a mock friendly way his cunning, shifty eyes betraying his ulterior motivations.

I just looked at him. “give my regards to David will you “ I said smiling.

“Oh I will” he said getting up and walking back to his table.

“Is he Lindsay’s solicitor?” Sara asked.

“Yes but he works for the Slug” I replied.

Afternoon

I sat in the toilet on the wooden seat facing the cistern and filled my pipe in preparation for this afternoon’s address to the jury. As I walked to the main hall I spied a group of Porn Squad members being address by a legal person in a suit. I lined up on one of the big marble pillars and approached the group on their blind side so that I was within earshot. I didn’t need to listen to him because it was psychological tactics that I was using now. Suddenly I moved into view and soon caught one of the Porn Squad’s eye.

The Scotland Yard detective saw me and began waving frantically at the legal eagle giving them a lecture who looked up in annoyance at this annoying policeman who was interrupting his lecture.

“Freeman, its Freeman” he pointed.

I caught the lecturers glanced winked and walked quickly away.

Sara was waiting outside the court and we walked in together.

I looked at the jury wondering what to say again and smiled. “Good morning ladies and gentlemen. I was wondering which side of the free cinema you ended up in and whether you preferred the pseudo snuff movie to the porn film. The porn film was small budget same as the horror movie. Should horror films be banned? No I don’t believe in censorship because in a free society why should one adult or body like the BBFC in, Soho Square, London watch any film and decide in the name of usually protecting children and treat you like a child  I have watched it and now I am not allowing other adults to watch it because I think that it is indecent or obscene and it may corrupt and deprave you. A film examiner at the BBFC watches thousands of films so if he is not depraved and corrupted why should you be? This is an example of Big Brother and an authoritarian government. So I say unto you, if you think that a person likely to have sent off his cheque for thirty two pounds for the Videx Video Show watched it in the privacy of his own home would likely to have become depraved and corrupted by any of the shots in the Videx Video Show and become a bad person then you should find me guilty.” I paused dramatically looking at the jury. “But before you come to that decision think that the Williams Committee, a government report that can be bought at any government bookshop, studied the question of the possible deleterious effects on society, taking in account the views and research of all the experts and came to the conclusion, as did most of the other European countries that there should be no censorship of explicit sexual imagery for adults and that has been the case, since 1972 starting with Denmark after a five year experiment. We are moving into a more liberal era, where the old opposition from the right wing is waning and a new era of freedom beckons.

The judge banged his gavel “Mr Freeman this trial is concerned whether or not the Videx Video Show would be likely to deprave and corrupt those likely to come into contact with it. This is not a question of politics but of law” the judge looked at me a serious expression on his face.

“My Lord I believe that all censorship is political and is imposed by the state and its servants.”

“Michael it is a free country and one is entitled to believe what one wants but please refrain from suggesting that it is a political trial."

“I am sorry to disagree with my Lord. Can I finish my address to the ladies and gentlemen of the jury?” I replied.

“Yes Michael you may” the judge replied.

“Yes ladies and gentlemen” I said looking at the jury talking about who are the censors and how do they enforce their decisions let’s take a look at the BBFC and how they decide what to let adults of this country see in their homes. Every examiner on the BBFC knows exactly what he is looking for as he has list of images and phrases that he must cut. Where does everyone in the film and censorship business, get what everyone in the know calls the laundry list? Producing a film is an expensive business and going back to the edit suite to cut out the bits the BBFC requires you to make in order to get your eighteen rating. The BBFC issue cuts list which begin with the number of the frame of the scene to excised and end and if you don’t make it you could be prosecuted and appear in court on the very same charges for which I stand here today. Who decides what you the public see? Who made up the anagram GOIL glimpse of inner labia that every BBFC examiner exercises. How can a glimpse of a woman’s vagina deprave a corrupt a person likely to be watching the Videx Video Show? If one disagrees with the notion that a glimpse of a woman’s vagina is inherently corrupting then how does one go about changing the law. One way is called publish and be damned that is to let oneself be prosecuted by those that believe in strict censorship for adults and be found not guilty. In this way one changes the law because the law must change according to prevailing moral values and that’s what I ask you to do ladies and gentlemen of the jury go out and find me not guilty and change the Obscene Publication Act. The Obscene Publications Act was amended by the honourable Roy Jenkins to include the words, even if the work is obscene but you find it art then you must find the defendant not guilty  Having had the traditional first bite of the cherry I rest my case my Lord.”

“Thank you Michael, and now it is the turn of the learned counsel for Lindsay Honey to speak.”

The counsel for Lindsay ,QC a woman in the man’s of the upper class legal profession stood up.

My client Lindsay Honey is a musician a member, of La Rox whose lead singer Ian Mitchel was a famous member of the Bay City Rollers. He got a job at the Videx offices the ones that you saw in that film First Day in the Office and became the dogsbody, that’s all he was, not a producer, he did not publish the Videx Video Show the company Videx Ltd did, and Michael Freeman as it tells you on the credits produced, wrote and directed it. Please find Lindsay Honey not guilty. I rest my case my Lord.

“The fucking bitch” I thought. “My Lord I would like to cross examine Mr Lindsay Honey the actor and musician” I said.

“Simon Lindsay James Honey will now enter the witness box.”

I looked at Lindsay standing in the witness box a where I had got him. I smiled looking at him dressed in a suit shirt and tie. “Is your name Simon Lindsay James Honey but you prefer to be called Lindsay Honey?” I asked a grin spreading across my face as I thought of cross examining a good friend of mine." Yes" he said, he had done a few slippery things like using my actors, sets and equipment to make a film of his own but when I just made him load the filming equipment into my car every evening and upped his salary by giving him a brown paper envelope every Friday night he got the massage.

“Lindsay if you ever addressed me as boss what did I used to say?"

“You used to say don’t call me boss, call me Mike.”

I looked at the jury an smiled. “So you called me Mike and I called you Lindsay. You liked to please me and became what I thought was rather sycophantic but as time went by I regarded you as a true friend. You became invaluable to me and also showed your talents as an actor. When I went to Holland to set up Videx Netherlands you became the managing director. No Lindsay you were never a dogsbody and myself and Sara were your friends. You did not play any part in the publishing of the Videx Video Show except as an employee of Videx Ltd. I was an employee of Videx Ltd too as the managing director and as it says on the credits of the Videx Video Show it was written, produced and directed by me.

“Lindsay do you remember when we were on location and you used to phone your friend to order our refreshments; was I your true friend or where you my dogsbody?”

“I was your true friend “Lindsay said smiling now his diamond flashing in his ear incongruous with his suit shirt and tie.

“Thank you Lindsay. That is all I want to ask you aware that I had brought his cocaine habit into the scenario...

The prosecution stood up “Mr Honey when you made these films like the scene in the Videx Video Show where you punished and then had sex with Jane Griffiths who did you have a script?”

“Yes Sir” Lindsay Honey replied.

“That script was written by Michael Freeman the managing director of Videx, was it not?” The prosecution an extremely ugly little man his round bloated face covered in warts. His stomach bulging out as he spat out the question as though a positive answer would prove my guilt.

“Yes” Lindsay Honey replied..

“That is all” said prosecution counsel.

“If there are no more questions from learned counsel then we will proceed with the defendant John Edward Currey.

Counsel for Currey stood up.        

“Ladies and gentlemen the jury my client John Edward Currey in charged with publishing the Videx Video Show. As a director he was not involved in the publishing process at all. He was a silent partner, a businessman that had invested a considerable sum of money to start up Videx Ltd with the intention of earning a profit.. In fact he never watched the films except initially to see the quality and has never watched the Videx Video Show.  He tells me he does not like to watch hardcore pornography and has never watched a film in his life except the beginning of one of the titles that contained no nude scenes. The Videx Video Show was published by Michael Freeman without the knowledge of John Edward Currey. Therefore I ask you to find John Edward Currey not guilty” Currey’s QC said.

“He is back stabbing me as well” I thought.

Also I noticed that the prosecution asked questions and it seemed that all counsel were involved in a conspiracy to convict me.

Sara’s QC was speaking: “my client was in love with Michael Freeman and did everything that he told her and was not aware that making pornographic films could be an offence in this country because Freeman never told her...” the words filtered through to my brain because I had been thinking of other things. He too was attempting to convict me. It was not just an attempt to get their clients off but a deliberate conspiracy to run a defence of duress against me.

The judge adjourned until the next day.

Day Three of the Trial

Chapter 12

 I sat in the WC getting very high and I knew that today the prosecution would outline its case against me. I loaded the pipe with another charge of the black Afghani and applied the lighter burning it to a grey cinder and holding in the smoke. I walked into the great hall of the Old Bailey thinking of the many famous and infamous defendants had walked this way. Infamy or fame depending on the prevailing morality. Thatcher and her friends in the media were continually publishing pro-censorship articles in the media. I was caught between the Devil and the deep blue sea. The forces of censorship from the right wing and religious groups the latter believing that the Devil made sexual pleasure and corrupt people in the police and high places that wanted porn to remain illegal so that they could earn massive profits from its illegality. I knew that the prohibition of any popular public commodity leads to corrupt that eventually infects the body politic as it had done today with porn and drugs and Britain was in an Al Capone era of corruption that went to the top.

I sat down and looked through documents and come across a list of “Witnesses to be called Roger Atkinson, Peter Kruger P. Supt., Bryan Murray P.C., Phylis Turvil Dr.” I knew that the prosecution QC and I read quickly through the statements, Atkinson was a photographer who developed his own and I remembered Denis Lemon of Gay News saying we will be sending a photographer. I imagined him looking through the big black and white bromides taken during what the pressed had dubbed The Wimbledon Siege. Superintendant Peter Kruger .He charged Currey and Lindsay at Wimbledon Police statement who told Lindsay when charging him that he had found that he appeared as an “artist” in the Videx Video Show and when Currey had been charged and if he wanted to make a comment he had replied “No Sir, not at present Sir.” He was responding to a future jury I knew.

“I would like to call my first witness” Superintendent Peter James Kruger.

Kruger enters the witness box and the prosecution started to speak.

“Are you Superintendent Peter James Kruger of Scotland Yard’s Obscene Publication Squad?”

“Yes I am.”

“Did you charge John Edward Currey and Simon Lindsay James Honey at Wimbledon police station where you had arranged to meet them?”

As the prosecutor spoke I wrote down notes thinking that if Kruger had arranged to meet me I would have taken the first plane with Sara to Amsterdam. I remembered sitting in the van with Kruger, spending the night in the cells and him refusing bail. “The dirty lying bastard” I thought.

“Michael J Freeman was charged at Wimbledon Magistrates Court and refused bail. Is this correct Superintendent?"

“Yes Sir.” Kruger replied.

I looked at Kruger in the witness box where I had placed him. “Are you Superintendent Peter James Kruger of the Obscene Publications Squad at Scotland Yard?"

“Yes I am”

“Are you a person who is in the habit of charging defendants with crimes that they clearly did not commit?"

“No I am not”

“When you arrested me for charges related to Videx films that you had in your possession for over two years did you refuse bail on the grounds that I had squirted acid at you during the recent raid connected with the Videx Video Show?"  I spat the accusation at him.  I would now direct the evil lies that he had told in order to keep me in custody and destroy Videx back at him in revenge.

Those above knew that Videx could not run without me and the other staff would not realise that the Obscene Publications Squad ‘s occupation of the Videx offices was illegal and that they could have continued to run Videx on bail.

“Detective Inspector Kruger may I suggest to you that when you refused bail at Wimbledon Magistrates Court on the grounds that I had committed a crime of violence and had squirted acid at you knew that this was false and that it was part of a plan to deprive Videx of its leader and frighten other Videx employees from attending work and thus stopping Videx Video trading”?

“I honestly believed that you were squirting acid and when I sniffed the plastic shampoo bottle it smelt acidic” Kruger lied as he had been told to lie.

“The violence charges were later dropped when the so called acid turned out to be water no stronger than that found in swimming pools. Is this correct?

“Yes the charge was dropped when an analysis showed the result that you just referred to” Kruger replied.

Thank you Superintendent I have finished with you I said fixing the foreman of the jury firmly in the eyes. “Liar’’ I mouthed the words and the juryman nodded imperceptibly in reply.

The judge banged his gave “Michael Freeman please note that lip reading is not allowed and all communications should be by the spoken word.”

“Yes my Lord” I replied.

The prosecution jumped up “Do the police usually refuse bail in cases where the defendant is charged with a crime of violence?”

“Yes Sir this is common practice.”

“Why is that Superintendant?”

“In order to protect the public.”

“And in this case you believed that the defendant had squirted acid?

“Yes Sir.”

“This was not part of any plan but what was common practice among the police?”

“Yes Sir.”

“Thank you Inspector I am finished questioning you” the prosecutor said.

The public schoolboy game of adversary law saw the trial purely as a game where one QC outwits another and the theatrical show of justice went on farcically. I flicked through the statements..

The court was adjourned for lunch until two ’o clock.

Afternoon in Court

The prosecutor addressed the jury: Ladies and gentlemen of the jury when you watched the Videx Video Show you watched a film that mixed images of naked children in with sexual images of adults, fellatio, cunnilingus and sado masochistic images of a woman being caned until she begged for mercy, 'please don’t no more please'. These images I suggest are clearly obscene and would be liable to deprave and corrupt who ever would be likely to come in contact them and if you believe that then you must find Michael Freeman guilty of the offences under the Obscene Publications Act, in the case of Lindsay Honey you saw him in the film caning that girl then having intercourse with her and if you think that he conspired with Michael Freeman too publish the Videx Video Show then you must find him guilty too.”

The prosecutor’s words went on and on and in the end I realised that I wasn’t even listening to him but just looking at him and become intensely aware of his ugliness

“Cast your mind back to the scene in which the genitalia of a naked man are juxtaposed with the face of a young girl. I suggest to you that the juxtaposition of a young girl’s face with a man’s penis and testicles is meant to suggest fellatio and in this respect Videx Ltd and Michael Freeman published a video which contained an indecent image of a child in breach of the Protection of Children Act...”

As I prepared to refute the prosecutor’s observation I realised that was what he thought of when he watched the nude beauty contest at the Eureka Sun Club and that the evil lay in his own mind.

“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury let me deal with the last allegation made by the learned Prosecutor. He says that he imagines that he saw a young girl’s face in juxtaposition with a man’s genitalia that suggested fellatio.” I turned towards the prosecutor and wagged my left finger towards him. “I suggest that the evil lies in his own mind".  I pointed the bone and cursed the Prosecutor “Honi soit mal y pense”- evil be to him who evil thinks.”  I uttered the curse in a loud voice and was surprised to see the Prosecutor stagger back as if struck by some invisible court and I had this strange feeling again that something magical was occurring and that the building had been designed to reveal the truth of a righteous anger. Everyone had seen the Prosecutor reel back and the guilty expression on his face. I looked at the jury and smiled. I would like you to go out and watch the Eureka Sun Club experience again and see if you can see what the Prosecutor sees. I expect that there are a number of you on the jury who know how to operate a video recorder?” and I saw several heads nod. I turned towards the judge.

“My Lord I feel that one of the jury could operate the machine and  in the interests of justice I would prefer a member of the Obscene Publications Squad not to be present in the jury room. Instead I suggest that a member of the jury operated the machine. What do you say my Lord?”

The judge could not really believe what was happening in his own with me acting and speaking like one of his learned friends and enjoying a great authority in the court.

“Yes I see no reason why your request cannot not be carried out as long as one of the jury can operate the machine?” the judge replied.

“Yes Sir I can do that” the foreman replied standing up.

“So be it then” the judge agreed.

I looked at my notes and re-read the part where the Prosecutor tries to convince the jury that the Videx Video Show was one whole film and not a magazine of different films. “His learned friend for the prosecution also suggested to you that the Videx Video Show was a continuous film when it is clearly a compilation of short films each titled and having the words the end appear and the title of the new short film appears. He says that the Videx Video Show is a film that mixed images of naked children in with sexual images of adults, fellatio, cunnilingus and sado masochistic images. I ask you to look at the Videx Video Show and decide whether it is as advertised the first video show for adults and a compilation of different episodes that are clearly separated from each other or one long two hour film. Watch the Videx Video Show as many times as you want and I thank you for your kind co-operation” I said.

The jury retired to the jury room to watch the Videx Video Show and I wondered how much of it they would re-watch. I thought now that I would be acquitted and the jury would reject the Prosecutor’s allegations without question.

When the jury returned I thought that two of the women jurors had red faces as though they had been laughing and that the traces of smiles lingered around their lips...

The judge adjourned the case until the next day.

That evening

Sara and I sat with Nick eating a delicious curry that Nick had prepared. It was so good that I wondered if it was a take away.

“Lovely curry Nick” I praised him.

“Yes Nick it’s excellent” Sara agreed in her posh voice. I noticed that she spoke with the same upper class accent as Nick now and I grinned.

“Thank you Mike, Sara tells me that you are doing well in court and that she thinks that you will be found not guilty?” Nick questioned.

“Yes I think so to but the other defence solicitors are running a defence of duress against me but I think that the jury have already made up their minds to acquit” I replied with just the slightest amount of doubt still lingering in my mind.

“What do you mean Mike a defence of duress?”

“That none of the QCs, or any of the legal profession want me to be found not guilty and that they are defending their clients while back stabbing me” I replied.

“Why do you think that is?” Nick asked.

“We are entering a neo puritan age and with the sex hostile feminists gaining power that there is an unholy conspiracy of left and right to make porn politically incorrect” I replied wondering whether I was straying too far my the “who financially benefits from its illegality” answer. 

Day Four of the Trial

Chapter 13

When I read my newspapers and magazines on the fourth day of the trial I was excited to find that the Time Out and The Guardian both featured articles about censorship and pornography. I would try to use them in court as they were both against censorship.

As my attaché case went through the X-Ray machine the conveyer belt suddenly came to a halt and the attendant pointed to the phallic shape of My Japanese porcelain pipe.

“What is that? He questioned me.

 “A pipe” I answered wondering whether I was going to get busted for cannabis at the Old Bailey.

He opened the case and took out the small blue pipe decorated with a gold cannabis leaf. “You smoke it?

“Yes I do” I said smiling.

Much to my surprise he put the pipe back into the case and handed it back to me.

“Thank you” I said breathing a sigh of relief.

“Why did he get your pipe out Mike?” Sara as we walked into the great marble hall. “I’m going for a puff” I informed Sara as I had done every day of the trial.

I sat in the WC the door bolted and as I smoked I blew the smoke up towards the ventilator and wondered why in a democracy why I had to use cannabis in a toilet. The answer was money again the same as any prohibited good that was much in demand- the corollary of prohibition was corruption

I took Sra’s hand and I walked in the court. As usual we were    the first to arrive. I was really high and I looked down to the Director of Public Prosecutions’ (DPP) place and noticed that his personal notes were lying in a folder...I walked down the aisle towards it and stood by it but not touching it.

“What do you think you are doing?” the DPP questioned me an angry look on his face.

“I was just standing her” I grinned at him.

“If you touched anything you will be in serious trouble, it’s a criminal offence” he said.

“Of course it’s a criminal offence but I have been a law abiding member of society since I was released in 1979” I replied grinning walking back to my own notes and leafing through them while the DDP checked is for evidence of tampering and glaring at me. Always the joker where authority was concerned I was enjoying myself immensely now as the court filled up again. I ignored everyone around me and picking up The Guardian I started to read the article on censorship and pornography.

“The court is in session...”

“Michael Freeman you may continue with your defence ...”

The words of the judge penetrated my trance state and I realised that I must start speaking I turned to the jury. “Good morning ladies and gentlemen of the jury you saw me reading today’s Guardian and there is a magazine her Time Out, it seems that porn and censorship are very much in the news today” I said grinning widely knowing that it was because of my trial. You saw the parts of the Videx Video Show yesterday and I suggest that if any of you have parts that you would like to see and discuss again then you should do that before I call my witnesses...” No one moved so I assumed that the jury had looked at what they wanted to. “I will now call my first witness...”

The solicitor’s clerk whispered in my ear.“The judge has two daughters” he whispered pressing a medal on a ribbon into my hand. “Eric won this in the 2nd World war. Your art teacher witness has not seen the film” he informed me.

“Thank you” I replied thinking that my first witness Eric had two daughters too.

“I call my first witness” Eric Bourne I said.

Eric entered the witness box dressed in a smart suit, wearing a Lloyd’s broker tie. I studied him in the witness box and I had met him at NCROPA meetings and he had volunteered to be a witness.

“Is your name Eric Bourne of Battle, Sussex?” I asked.

“Yes that is correct.”

I held the medal up and looking at the judge, then at the Prosecutor an amused grin on my face I began to swing the medal like a pendulum and was pleased to note all the juror’s heads turning in time. I wondered if the judge would bang his gavel and say   that “one can’t hypnotise a jury Freeman” but he said nothing. Really I began to surprise myself and have the feeling once again that in this ancient court of the Old Bailey the defendant could create magic and the gods would help him achieve Justice.

“Eric have you watched the Videx Video Show?” I asked still swinging the medal.

“Yes and I see nothing indecent or obscene in it and my two daughters have seen it too and we all agree that it is erotic art.”

“Thank you Eric” I said.

I looked over at the ugly Prosecutor who jumped to his feet. “Mr Bourne do you usually watch hardcore pornography with your daughters?” the Prosecutor asked with a sneer that hinted at incest.

“No never but the Videx Video Show is not hardcore pornography at all but a series of short erotic films” Eric answered.

I smiled watching the Prosecutor’s disappointed face.

“You may step down now” the words echoed through my brain. Now for the art teacher; Tuppy had shown me his drawings of huge orgies done in pencil in a realistic style. I thought that he would make a good witness.”I would like to call Jeremy Taylor” I said hearing my voice amplified by the court acoustics. I watched Jeremy Taylor climbed reluctantly into the witness box and it seemed to me that he would rather not be here and perhaps that was why he had not watched the Videx Video Show. “Is your name Jeremy Taylor of Wapping, Kent?” I asked.

“Yes it is” Jeremy Taylor replied. 

“First of I must ask you have you watched the Videx Video Show?” I asked fixing him with my gaze and I knew that here was a frightened little man.

“No, no I haven’t watched it”

“Well then Jeremy you may step down because you should have watched it” I said seeing the look of relief on his face but suspecting that he had seen it because it was on the documents of defence witnesses.

“Thank you” he said hastily leaving the witness box.

“I would like to call my next witness Derek Malcolm” I said a ring of triumph in my voice, smiling as I watched this old Etonian, famous film critic climb into the witness box. I started the act.

“Is your name Derek Malcolm and do you live in London...my voice floated the questions around the courtroom . “Are you Chairman of the Circle of International Film Critics... are you the Guardian Film critic...As part of your job do you watch erotic videos and films?”

“Yes I have watched thousands.”

I knew that as an advisor to the Williams Report he had watched a lot of hardcore pornography, films that he would have found distasteful and not watched unless it was part of some official duty. He had seen every film that he had made up to this present day because I had sent them to him and spoke about them on the phone.  “Talking about the erotic genre have you seen the Videx Video Show?”

I noticed Derek raise his eyebrows at my use of the word genre and I smiled at him.

“Yes I have” he answered.

“How as a film critic would you describe it in relation to the charges that I stand here accused of today?” I asked holding my breath.

“The Videx Video Show is harmless erotica” he replied.

“Thank you Derek” I said my heart bursting with gratitude that this public schoolboy who had come here and told the truth today. I looked over at the jury and smiled and I knew that Derek Malcolm’s testimony had made a big impression on them.

Afternoon.

The solicitor’s clerk whispered in my ear. “They have taken your art teacher to Scotland Yard to see the Videx Video Show escorted by an OPS officer and he is now going to say that it’s like child porn.”

“Thanks” I replied knowing that he had been badly frightened and as an art teacher who drew pictures of big orgies his job could be in danger. He had been threatened by Obscene Publications Squad I knew that.

It was time to call the rest of my witnesses and I had thought up a plan “I would like to call Chief Inspector Alton” I said in a loud voice that shocked almost everyone into an upright position of attention. I knew that my solicitors had refused to call them the two ex Porn Squad coppers who had been convicted of corruption on the grounds of irrelevance to the case. I waited a bit letting the attention build. “Oh he is obviously not coming” said out loud “so I would like to call Superintendent William Moody” I shouted. I waited a further two minutes. I turned towards the judge “I have finished calling my witnesses my Lord I said with a smirk as I glanced over at the OPS detectives in court and had the satisfaction of an angry look from one of them who had tried to frighten my witness...

Nick’s Flat Earls Court later that evening

“I called Derek Malcolm like I said and the effect was electric when I asked him what erotic genre the Videx Video Show was in and he replied harmless erotica” I said with a laugh.

“Harmless erotic, Mike when a powerful film critic like Malcolm says that the Videx Video Show is harmless erotica, then you are off in my opinion” Nick said a smile of pleasure on his face.

“Yes Mike is doing very well” Sara agreed.

 

 

 

The Verdict - Day Five of the Videx Video Show Trial

Chapter 14

In spite of my expressed confidence I still expected some trick by the forces against me. Then the black member of the jury walked in a folded copy of The Guardian under his arm and gave me a knowing look and I knew that he had read the anti censorship article in the previous days issue and letters on the piece were already published in this day’s edition mainly for the stopping of censorship for adults.

 I prepared to address the jury. “Good morning ladies and gentlemen you have heard all my witnesses speak and I ask you to pay attention not only to Eric as a respectable father of two daughters but to my expert witness Derek Malcolm who in his own words has seen thousands of erotic films and his classification of the Videx Video Show as harmless erotica. Harmless and not like to deprave and corrupt those likely to come into contact with it” I said. In fact to prove whether or not a person has been made bad is impossible and also a question of one’s own moral values, what one thinks is right and wrong. “Deprave and corrupt are anachronistic words from the Victorian era, an era of neo Puritanism that we are only just started escaping from twenty years ago with the Swinging Sixties that altered society for ever and saw the legalisation of porn for adults in mainland Europe, the United States. Today there is a backlash from forces of censorship driven by religious beliefs about sexual pleasure together with those forces of corruption whose financial interest is in keeping sexual imagery especially films for adults” I paused looking at the jury and was surprised to see the foreman of the jury nod then make a yawning sign. He wanted to go home that was for sure and I must not let myself ramble on as I thought that they jury had made up their minds.

“Michael Freeman I think that you have made your case now and it is time to hear the other defence counsel” the judge said.

“Yes my Lord” I replied a moment of doubt entering my heart as the counsel for John E Currey stood up.

I stood down and moved to join Sara, Currey and Lindsay in the dock and reached down and held Sara’s hand in mine.

“You were marvellous Mike” she whispered.

 “My client John Edward Currey is a businessman and he invested a sum of money in Videx Ltd. But he took no part in the running of the business. He was ladies and gentlemen in fact what is called a sleeping partner and it is these sleeping partners to who one can go that are invaluable to this country because when a person needs capital to start a new business he can’t get it started without a business to invest in his business. Sleeping partners do not have to know anything about the business and I John Currey’s case, the making of films only the making of money. Michael published the film and he freely admits that not my client, therefore ignorance of the law is no defence but I am asking you to find John Currey, businessman, father of three children not guilty because he thought that the managing director of Videx Ltd would obey the law. Michael Freeman undertook to obey the law as a company director and all Videx Productions were vetted by the company’s solicitors.  I ask you therefore to find John Edward Currey not guilty” he said.

He had back stabbed me but I was not mortally wounded but now I had relinquished control and stood accused in the dock. The psychological effect of being in the dock was to point the finger of guilt in the name of the Queen. I looked above the judges head and saw the Queen’s royal coat of arms and the words “Dieu et mon droit” God is my right. I knew that the Queen believed that she ruled by God’s authority by the Divine Right of Monarchs. She was head of the Upper Classes and she kept the whole class system going by money filtering down from her massive wealth. I wonder if she knew anything about the massive corruption in the corpus of the state, government, police and media and if she did then would she do anything about it.

“My client Simon Lindsay James Honey is a musician and an actor and an employee of Videx Ltd and I suggest to you that he as such did not take part in any decision to publish the Videx Video Show but was just obeying Michael Freeman’s orders, who as you saw on the credits of the Videx Video Show wrote, directed and produced the film and in fact wrote every scene. Lindsay Honey was good company employee, a good actor, a bit of a dog’s body and a little bit naive and I ask you to find him not guilty as such” she said.

“Bitch!”  I disproved the dog’s body label under cross examination I thought and she was careful to illustrate that I was the sole creator of the Videx Video Show. This was true except for the help I had from other artists but then I had made no secret of this fact in the court and I had defended it as a work of art. Most of my case was gone now  Derek Malcolm but Derek Malcolm had told me that the Videx Collection would soon become collector’s items and I was happy that I hidden a set of U-matic master tapes.

“My client Sarah Bhaskaran came to this country when she was ten, learnt the English language and attended art school until she met Michael Freeman and she fell madly in love with him, first they made paintings and later films together like the Videx Video Show where the camera work was done by Sara for several of the scenes. I suggest that Sara took no part of the publishing of the Videx Video Show and there I ask you to find her not guilty...”

The defence was finished, next would come the verdict, I felt butterflies in  my stomach and I smiled wanly at the jury especial the foreman.

The judge was speaking now and I looked directly into his eyes and held his  gaze and he turned to the jury.

“Ladies and gentleman you have heard all the evidence in this case and I want you to come to a unanimous decision in respect of each defendant in respect to the two charges. Is the Videx Video Show liable to deprave and corrupt those you come in to contact with it and secondly are any of all of the defendants guilty of publishing an indecent image of a child in contrary to the Protection of Children Act, that is an image of a child that is meant to titillate for example... the judges was saying.

His words went on an unheard drone now while I smiled at the jury and maintained an exterior composure while the judge summed  up  careful not to appear biased towards defence or prosecution but stabbing me metaphorically several times so I felt the pain of doubt enter my mind. Would they find me guilty or not guilty.

“Now go out and reach your verdict...”

The words sent a pang of fear through me again. Here I was again being charged with the same crime that of producing explicitly sexual images that were to excite people sexually...

The jury filed out...

The waiting begun and I held Sara’s hand as the tension increased to paranoia...

The jury filed back in... “This is it” I thought.

“How do you find the defendant Michael Freeman guilty or not guilty on the charge of offences under the Obscene Publications Act?”

“Not guilty” the foreman’s voice rang out strongly.

I smiled at him a great joy entering my heart...

“How do you find Michael Freeman guilty or not guilty under the Protection of Children Act?”

“Not guilty."

And so the not guilty” rang around the court and I stood up and lifted up Sara into my arms and kissed her and joy filled my heart.

“Ladies and gentlemen after this trial I have removed your duty of doing jury service for the rest of your lives” the judge said a note of criticism in his voice.

I took Sara’s hand and went over to collect my property from the QC’s position. The DPP was there collecting his trial papers too. I looked at him a challenge on my lips. “I have smashed your Obscene Publications Act single-handedly; it is useless against me now.”

He looked at me defeat in his eyes. “Congratulations but don’t get too cocky your other trial is due soon” he reminded me.

I knew then with certainty that those above would do all they could to convict me of conspiring to pervert the course of public justice knowing it had been done. This was ironically a charge usually made against corrupt police officers for receiving money but was being applied to me for attempting to destroy evidence.

                     

The News of the World

 Chapter 15

When we walked out of the Old Bailey there was no flash of press cameras, no microphones , no questioning reporters once again I thought of the way that I had been tricked into separating the two trials because “I would have been acquitted of everything today with this jury.

“Hello Mike” said the News of the World reporter. “What was her name?” I wondered. Hello” replied.

Lindsay threw his arms around her from behind. “Hi Carol baby I’m dying to get my big cock inside you again” Lindsay said laughing at me his face next to Carol’s.

“Mike would you like a meal on the News of the World?” Carol said.

“Sure I would” I replied thinking that I didn’t have enough money to have taken them out. I had to pay the rent on Nick’s flat soon...Videx was dead.

I picked up the menu in the Chinese restaurant we had found nearby. I was quite expensive and I suspected that quite a lot of rich legal people ate here.

“Have anything that you like, the News of the World is paying the bill” Carol said leaning on the table towards me. Sara was seated on my left, Lindsay on the right.

“News of the World paying my bill; that’s strange” I thought.

Sara was looking through the menu “Mmm spicy prawns” she said in expectation as the loss of Videx, our source of income Videx was no more. I realised that I had no source of income. I had to make another film and start off again but a condition of my bail said that I may not own any filmmaking equipment while on bail.

“Hey, Mike why don’t you order a drink? “ Carol asked breaking my thoughts.

 “Hey” I beckoned the waiter. “Can you send the wine waiter please” I asked.

A waiter walked up to our table holding the wine list. “Yes Sir I am the wine waiter” he informed me. “Here you are Sir” he said giving me the wine list. I looked down the list and saw that there was some expensive wine here. “Give us a couple of bottles of Dom Perignon and a couple of bottles of the Chateau Rothschild” I said grinning at Carol while watching Lindsay’s hand sliding up her skirt to reveal a shapely thigh.

“Yes Sir” replied the wine waiter hurrying away.

“This would be a good scene in a movie.  I just ought to record images of my life and sell it” I thought. 

“Mike I’m going to phone the paper in a minute. How much do you want for a story?” she asked.

“A story, I thought that you wrote one?” I asked.

“I did but they couldn’t print it because you were found guilty in my story” Carol admitted pursing her lips.

I laughed out loud while sipping the champagne taster that the waiter had just poured into my glass. I looked at the waiter and nodded. Excellent fill everyone’s glass” I ordered.

“Do you wish to taste the red Sir? The waiter asked.

“Yes please” I replied.

I watched the dark red claret pour into the glass and I savoured its bouquet and took a small mouthful before swirling it around my mouth to savour its richness. “Excellent” I said.

“Hey can me and Carol have a bottle of scotch and two cokes, ice and big glasses” Lindsay asked.

I nodded to the waiter even though I was not paying the bill.

“Mike you need a budget to make you next film. How much shall I ask?”

“Tell them to make me an offer and you rewrite the story” I suggested to Carol.

“Okay” Carol said getting up and going to the wall phone.

She came back and sat down and spoke immediately. “They want a tell all story about the London Orgy Set and the names of everyone that attended” Carol informed me.

“What and be Mr Nasty, a guy that grasses on all his best friends for money. No I would never do that” I said emphatically.

Carol went back to the phone again, then returned “Forty thousand pounds” she said.

“Tell them to fuck off” I said.

“Mike would never inform on his friends” Sara said indignantly.

I drank a glass of champagne. “To the next film!” I toasted.

“To the next film” Lindsay toasted taking a long drink on his whisky and coke and topping up his glass. “To our next film” Sara toasted.

“Yes but you can’t make a film for nothing Mike” Carol reminded me. “I’ll go and get another offer” she said.

“Take them for all you can get Mike” Lindsay said.

“No I won’t be Mr Nasty and grass on all my friends, they have been scared out of their lives” I complained.

“Yes and Geoffrey and his friend have gone to New York, the police frightened them out of their lives with raids, searching and reading personal documents. They were terrified; it was awful for them...” Sara informed me.

I had heard some things about the activities of the Porn Squad and this was no surprise to me but I grinned as I thought of all the indignant squeals coming from the armchair revolutionaries because the authoritarian state was actually harassing, threatening their professional standing and persecuting them like the regimes of extreme right and left that they had spoken so passionately about. I remember telling them to protect the “pornographer because I am the tip of the spear, when I snap off they will come for you next.”

“Seventy thousand pounds cash Mike” Carol stood by me.

Tell them to fuck off and sit down because unless they print your story then tell them to fuck off.  I mean you got to know the real us and you are better qualifiedto do a story in the light of an acquittal that no-one expected in a thousand years” I said laughing.

“Okay one last try and I tell them what you said, that you want to me to write the story and it will be about making films,” Carol said.

Carol was shouting down the phone and she came back with an angry look on her face. They will pay eighty thousand for the story of the London Orgy Set” she said.

“Tell them no deal and tell them to fuck off” I replied and we all laughed at her.

I quickly ordered more wine while Carol was on the phone to the News of the World and we ate drank and was merry on that triumphant day when I defended myself at the Old Bailey and got all of us acquitted.