Quaintance trial begins: Gilgal goes, even from Morris websiteby Hugh Young
The trial of a high-profile circumcision advocate for crimes against boys began in London on Monday. This coincides with the disappearances of his online pro-circumcision society and the last reference to it on the website of a prominent Australian circumcision advocate.
Vernon Quaintance went on trial (case No T20130462) in Court 8 at Southwark Crown Court at 10:30 am.
In January he denied 10 charges relating to young boys between 1966 and 2011. He is accused of four charges of indecency with children under 16 between 1966 and 1974.
He also faces one charge of sexually assaulting a young boy in 1974 and a further charge of indecent assault on another young boy in 1966.
The four remaining charges relate to indecent images of children ranging from level one to level five in severity discovered at Quaintance's home in 2011.
Much of the day was taken up with an argument about what could be included in charges of possessing indecent images. A statement by Quaintance claimed that pictures concerning circumcision on his computers were medical or health-related, and not indecent.
Quaintance was the head of the pro-circumcision Gilgal Society, which published the first editions of the series of pro-circumcision pamphlets written by Professor Brian Morris of the University of Sydney. The Gilgal Society website has recently had all its files removed, including advertisements for Professor Brian Morris's leaflets.
Soon after Quaintance was first charged in April 2012, the Gilgal logo was removed from the leaflets available from Professor Morris's website. A page of "circumcision humor" including a poem by "Vernon Quantance" remained until the middle of 2013. A link to a list of "possible circumcisers in Australia and New Zealand" carrying a Gilgal Society logo has been removed since July 3, leaving a "404: file not found" message.
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