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School CP - May 1953
The Times, London, 15 May 1953
Wildman Guilty Of Obscene Libels
£500 Fine Imposed
ERIC WILDMAN, aged 31, a publisher, of Blackhorse Lane, Walthamstow, E., pleaded Guilty at the Central Criminal Court yesterday to 17 charges of publishing obscene libels. He was fined £500, with the alternative of 12 months' imprisonment.
Mr. R.E. Seaton, for the prosecution, said that Wildman was carrying on business as "The Corpun Educational Organization," with premises in City Road, E.C. He also conducted an organization known as "The Society for the Retention of Corporal Punishment," of which he was president. It would appear that the obscene libels were first published in March, 1948, because that was when he started advertising. In that year the turnover of his business was £692, but by 1950 it had increased to £2,086. It was abundantly clear that the defendant had followers not only in this country but in many countries and that he was conducting a substantial business in the publication of various obscene pamphlets, the prices of which ranged from 4s. to 10s. each. The pamphlets dealt with the subject of flagellation, especially in regard to young women, and they created an appalling atmosphere of cruelty and sadism.
Raids by police
On January 9 last the police raided the defendant's premises and took possession of a large quantity of pamphlets, obscene photographs, canes, and leather thongs. He continued to sell these pamphlets and a second raid was carried out on March 17, when more literature, obscene photographs, and canes were seized.
Chief Inspector George Davis said that Wildman at the time of the first raid employed seven young women assistants.
Mr. F.H. Lawton, for the defence, said that as a young man Wildman contracted a brain disease after vaccination. After the war he began a leather business and bought a quantity of leather intending to make razor strops. Unfortunately, the leather was unsuitable for that purpose and Wildman conceived the idea of making straps with it. He advertised these in a school-teachers' journal and to his astonishment he received hundreds of inquiries. He was also asked for canes from school masters and school mistresses all over the country who still believed in corporal punishment. As a result, he decided to trade in canes as well.
Continuing, counsel said that Wildman then found himself attacked by "The Society for the Abolition of Corporal Punishment" and he began writing these pamphlets in answer to the criticism made of him. As the months went by his interest in this subject grew. During 1950-52 he persuaded himself that he was doing a public service. It was not a deliberate trade in pornography. Wildman was not a seller of filthy books, but a man with a kink.
Wildman was allowed six months in which to pay the fine.
Daily Telegraph, London, 15 May 1953
£500 fine for obscene libels
"Man with a kink"
Eric Arthur Wildman, 31, of City Road, Finsbury, and Blackhorse Lane, Walthamstow, was fined £500 or in default 12 months' imprisonment at the Old Bailey yesterday on 17 charges of publishing obscene libels. He was given six months in which to pay. Sir Hugh Beazley, the Common Serjeant, at first considered a £1,000 fine but was informed Wildman could not pay.
Mr. R.E. Seaton, prosecuting, said Wildman had a business in City Road, entitled Corpun Educational Organisation, and also conducted a society for the retention of corporal punishment. His premises in City Road and in Walthamstow were raided in January and March and obscene publications, photographs and canes were found.
Mr. F.H. Lawton, defending, maintained that though there was a very ardent background there was no deliberate trading in pornography. Wildman was a man with a kink. Corporal punishment had got control of him. He thought he had a crusade for its retention.
Imposing the fine the Common Serjeant said: "I don't want to crush him out of existence. I want to give him a sharp lesson and, if possible, make him realise he is not the world's Messiah in this matter."
Follow-up: 27 October 1953: Obscene books to be destroyed
See also: Eric Wildman timeline
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