October 1974

Paedophile ring members jailed – Newspaper photographer, child welfare officer and an American scientist 

A London child-care officer and two other men were sentenced at the Central Criminal Court to jail terms for offences involving indecent photographs and indecent assault of young boys.

Brian Arthur Johnson, aged 44, a former approved school house-master and for the past 10 years child-care officer for Tower Hamlets council, London, was jailed for a total of six years.

Mr Johnson, of Gladstone Road, Colchester, Essex, pleaded guilty to 12 charges of indecent assault involving 11 boys, six of them in his care one charge of inciting a child to commit gross indecency with another; and sending indecent articles through the post.

Ronald William Fortune, aged 53, a national newspaper photographer, of Darrick Wood Road, Orpington, Kent, who admitted 10 charges of indecent assault involving boys, was jailed for a total of five years.

At the homosexual orgies young boys were paraded as slaves. The boys were attracted to the home of photographer Ronald Fortune because it had a shooting gallery.

George Wayne Jacobs, aged 48. a photographer, described as a ” public figure active in American local government “, was jailed for a total of two years after pleading guilty to three charges of indecent assault, one of incitement and one of sending indecent articles through the post

Mr Kenneth Richardson, for the prosecution, said the offences admitted by the three men related to 22 boys between the ages of 10 and 16.

They had been photographed in various indecent poses, including that of a slave in chains, and had been sexually assaulted.

Fortune had used his Orpington home as a “snare” for young boys, Mr Richardson said. He kept toys and had a shooting gallery in the attic, where boys liked to play.

Fortune liked children and hundreds had gone to his home, but for the most part nothing indecent happened.

Mr Victor Durand, QC, for the defence of Mr Johnson, said that during his career as a childcare officer, he had handled 300 cases. Many of the boys were unwanted children.

Witnesses spoke highly of the good work he had done on behalf of the incurably sick and the deprived over many years.

Mr Roger Frisby, QC, for the defence of Mr Jacobs, said;that he had always been homosexual and had striven to keep it- under control.