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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Caught In The Act: Godfray & others (1942) part 2

On 5 March 1942, the Judge at Hampshire Assizes at Winchester passed down sentences on three men accused of a number of charges relating to indecent photographs. Capt. Herbert Terence Dillon Godfray, employed in a Civil Service department in Bath, Geoffrey Noel Fabb, an engineering student, and Thomas Borrows, a fitter, all pleaded guilty to a number of charges: Borrows to publishing indecent photographs and obtaining with intent to publish; Godfray to two charges of sending indecent photographs through the post; and Fabb to two similar charges and one of publishing.

However, they pleaded not guilty to a number of charges, Godfrey to a charge of conspiring with the other two to do "certain acts injurious to public morals" whilst Fabb and Borrows pleaded not guilty to a number of other charges against them, although they admitted the conspiracy charge. Mr. N. R. Fox-Andrews, prosecuting, accepted the not guilty pleas and did not proceed on those counts.

Mr. Justice Wrottesley, the judge, sent all three to prison, Godfray for 20 months, Borrows for 18 months and Fabb for two years.

Sentencing Borrows, who, at an early age, had been involved in a flying accident that had left him crippled, the judge commented:
I am not punishing you for having a rather abnormal and indecent and dirty outlook and habit of mind. What you must be punished for is trying to spread that to people who are not guilty of that habit of thought. The only good mark in your case is that you did not try to make money out of it.
More ire was reserved for Godfrey and Fabb. To Godfrey, Wrottesley said:
You played with dirt and you got dirty. No man who has held a commission in his Majesty's Forces can feel anything, I imagine, but shame in having not merely photographed girls in the way you photographed those girls, but in sending that stuff about in the post, and sending it to try and make a little money out of it.
    The only good thing about you is that you did not, as a habit, handle the same filthy material that was handled by Borrows or the other man.
Godfrey, the son of a former Colonel in the Indian Army, had indeed been commissioned: after being educated at a public school in England and captaining the Rugby XV, boats and joined the Officer Training Corps., rising to 2nd Lieutenant in 1914. He obtained a commission in the 2nd Gloucesters and served with distinction in France for three and a half years. He was made a Captain in 1919.

Some time after the war, Godfray was in a motoring accident which resulted in the loss of an arm. It was while he was in hospital that he developed an interest in sun-bathing. Married in 1929, he had three children, two of whom died.

In 1939 he contracted a duodenal ulcer, which was cured at a sun-bathing camp in North Devon. It was here that he took photographs of a model named Hylda.

It was suggested by Godfray's lawyer (Mr. J. D. Casswell, K.C.) that Godfray's case was different to the two others in that he had not made a habit of collecting photographs of an indecent nature and, when a quantity of such photos were sent to him by others, he burnt most of them. In July 1941 he had made the mistake of sending some of them on.

Of Fabb the judge observed:
You are not old, but yours is the worst case of the three.
    The material you handled and the letters you wrote are disgusting, and it does not need a person to be a prude to say that.
Fabb had been interested in photography from a young age and had even won a competition as a young man. After his release from jail he married but I'm unaware of any children. He died in 2010, aged 93. Godfray had died almost a half century earlier in 1951, aged 57, and Borrows followed in 1968, aged 69.

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