Search Help HANSARD 1803–2005 → 1980s → 1981 → March 1981 → 19 March 1981 → Written Answers (Commons) → ATTORNEY-GENERAL
Sir Peter HaymanHC Deb 19 March 1981 vol 1 cc139-40W 139W
§ Mr. Dickens asked the Attorney-General if he will prosecute Sir Peter Hayman under the Post Office Acts for sending and receiving pornographic material through the Royal Mail.
§ The Attorney-General In 1978 a packet containing obscene literature and written material was found in a London bus. The subsequent police investigation revealed a correspondence of an obscene nature between Sir Peter Hayman and a number of other persons. Altogether a total of seven men and two women were named as possible defendants in the report submitted by the Metropolitan Police to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The Director advised against prosecuting any of the nine persons either under section 11 of the Post Office Act 1953 or for any other offence. Among the considerations he took into account were the factors that the correspondence had been contained in sealed envelopes passing between adult individuals in a non-commercial context and that none of the material was unsolicited.
Subsequently the Metropolitan Police submitted a further report which revealed that one of the nine, not Sir Peter Hayman, was also carrying on a correspondence 140W with a tenth person. The police investigation showed that the two shared an obsession about the systematic killing by sexual torture of young people and children. In view of the extreme nature of the material they had sent each other, the Director of Public Prosecutions decided to prosecute them for conspiring to contravene section 11 of the 1953 Act. There is no evidence that Sir Peter Hayman has ever sent or received material of this kind through the post.
It has been suggested that Sir Peter Hayman was considered as a possible defendant following the police investigation into the conduct of the Paedophile Information Exchange which led to the recent trial at the Central Criminal Court for conspiracy to corrupt public morals. That prosecution was against persons alleged to have been involved in the management or organisation of PIE. Although Sir Peter Hayman had subscribed to PIE, that is not an offence and there is no evidence that he was ever involved in the management. At the recent trial, whilst there were general references to members of PIE, including, though not by name, Sir Peter Hayman, there was no reference to any material produced by him or found in his possession.
I am in agreement with the Director of Public Prosecutions' advice not to prosecute Sir Peter Hayman and the other persons with whom he had carried on an obscene correspondence.
The Director of Public Prosecutions and I remain determined that, where the evidence justifies it, prosecutions will be brought in cases involving sexual acts with children or offences under the Protection of Children Act 1978—indecent photographs of children.