He was counsel of choice for some of the most high-profile cases of his era.He defended the likes of Christine Keeler and Great Train robber Charles Wilson and also obscenity cases against novels like Fanny Hill and Lady Chatterley’s Lover.
Lawrence, after all, was one of the most highly regarded writers of his era.
Hutchinson was concerned about page 258, however, where anal sex crops up – albeit obliquely.
While homosexual anal sex between consenting men was legalised 50 years ago in the UK, the heterosexual equivalent became legal only at the millennium in England and Wales and was highly illegal in 1960.
(The 2001 film Bridget Jones’ Diary celebrated legalisation with a pretty explicit scene between Renée Zellweger and Hugh Grant.) Illegal acts could still potentially use the public good defence, but Hutchinson feared it made the case much harder to win.
Sue Rabbitt Roff does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
Jeremy Hutchinson, who has died at 102, was one of England’s finest criminal barristers.
It is a passage which I have not – and I do not think anybody has – referred to during the course of cross-examination, or indeed at any time during this trial. describes what is called the ‘night of sensual passion’.
He read out the whole passage remarking: “Not very easy, sometimes, not very easy, you know, to know what in fact he is driving at in that passage.” It’s not clear how many jurors understood the passage; some were said to be visibly shocked.
Hutchinson agreed to go ahead and advised Penguin accordingly.
The defence called 35 professors of literature, authors, journalists, editors, critics, publishers and child education experts, and four Anglican churchmen.
Neither the clergy nor any of the other experts had been examined on anal sex and it is not clear whether they realised they were implicitly defending it or not.