Banned by the British courts: A VIP’s book on how he was sexually abused – David Hencke


In an era when child sexual abuse is literally coming out of the closet, an extraordinary decision has been taken by a British court to ban a book from an eminent figure on how he survived abuse as a child, writes David Hencke.

A judge has upheld an injunction bought by the man’s son to avoid publication on the grounds it would cause psychological damage to his son if the public knew about his father’s early life at school.

I am indebted to the excellent Inforrm blog for this story. You can read the full report by Dan Tench, a lawyer from Olswang, here.

The injunction was granted by Lady Justice Arden using a bizarre piece of English law [related to a backfiring practical joke].

You can read about Wilkinson v Downton [1897] QB 57 in Mr Hencke’s article. His concluding remarks are illuminating, though:

To my mind to ban a book using case law based on practical jokers to stop someone writing about child sexual abuse is a sick joke in itself. I hope this outrageous ban is lifted as soon as possible.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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6 thoughts on “Banned by the British courts: A VIP’s book on how he was sexually abused – David Hencke

  1. jaypot2012

    Meant to say, the son seems not to care about what his father went through, only about his way of seeing things! Sometimes, writing a book is very cathartic but to ban it – disgusting!

  2. david pearce

    could this law be applied to the tories as well? Especially their treatment of the disenfranchised; causing catastrophic effect on their self-esteem and to cause hthem enduring psychological harm. Just a thought as these policies are written – but I’m not a legal eagle

  3. amnesiaclinic

    It would seem there was an agreement before the marriage was dissolved that nothing would be done to harm the welfare of the child.
    But he will grow up and it should be published then, surely?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      It’s debatable whether the child’s welfare would be harmed now, though, isn’t it? If we are still talking about a child?

Comments are closed.