PIE controversy: Lord Justice Fulford apologises for NCCL gay rights link to Paedophile Information Exchange

But civil rights lawyer says he has no memory of 1970s campaign to defend paedophiles

A judge accused by The Mail on Sunday of helping to found a campaign in the 1970s that supported members of the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) when they faced criminal charges has said he has “no memory” of the campaign.

Lord Justice Fulford insisted on Sunday that he had not endorsed the PIE, which called for the age of consent to be reduced to 10, and that child abuse was “wholly wrong”.

The newspaper had claimed the Privy Council member had been praised by the PIE for “coming to its defence” when members faced criminal charges and had planned demonstrations outside courthouses when defendants were appearing.

Lord Justice Fulford did confirm he had been involved with the National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL), a group which in recent weeks has been criticised for its links with PIE during the 1970s and 1980s.

The Mail On Sunday claimed Lord Justice Fulford, who sat on the NCCL’s gay rights committee, had worked on a campaign to defend PIE members when brought to court. It was also claimed by the newspaper that he had attended the same NCCL meetings as PIE chairman Tom O’Carroll, who was jailed for two-and-a-half years in 2006 for offences relating to indecent images of children.

Lord Justice Fulford said on Sunday that he had felt “extremely uncomfortable” when attending the same meetings as Mr O’Carroll. He said: “I have always been deeply opposed to paedophilia and I never supported the views or objectives of the Paedophile Information Exchange. I attended a few meetings of the NCCL’s gay rights committee. I remember that for a short period Tom O’Carroll was sometimes present, which left me feeling extremely uncomfortable.

“In the main, I provided some legal advice in the context of general civil liberties objections to the wide-ranging charge of conspiracy to corrupt public morals.”

He added: “On reflection, the NCCL gay rights committee should never have allowed members of PIE to attend any of its meetings, and a clear and real separation should have been created between the two organisations. I am very sorry for what happened. I have never espoused or in any way supported the objectives of PIE – the abuse of children – which, I consider wholly wrong.”

Last year, Lord Justice Fulford was nominated as an Appeal Court judge by David Cameron and was appointed to the Privy Council. He  previously sat as a judge at the International Criminal Court, at The Hague, and was one of the judges who handed down the court’s first judgment  in 2012.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Middleweight

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the South East's fastest growing full s...

Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

£35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

Recruitment Genius: Commercial Engineer

£30000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Estimating, preparation of tech...

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Technician

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will work as part of a smal...

Day In a Page

Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada