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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 6. 4th April 1973

From the Courts

From the Courts

Photo of Magistrate's Court

Last Friday in the Magistrates Court Arthur Montgomery King 28, unemployed hairdresser pleaded guilty to stealing $63 cash and a cheque to the value of $70.

For the prosecution Sergeant W.T. Jaques said that King admitted approaching a middle-aged man in a city bar and subsequently adjourning to King's flat for sexual intercourse. Before leaving the bar King spoke to a male accomplice who left early and hid under the bed in King's flat. While the sexual act took place the accomplice stole the contents of the complainant's wallet. King was fined $150 and ordered to pay $31 restitution by Mr Wicks S.M.

Arthur King appeared in court dressed in women's clothing, not surprising when one remembers that transvestites are female in almost every respect and will not "change back into men" at the whim of a policeman or magistrate. What is surprising however is the fact that Mr Wicks chose to make several cruel jokes at King during the process of justice. Defendants are not usually addressed as Mr or Mrs by Wicks or any other magistrate but on this occasion it was "Mr King", the heavy emphasis on the Mister producing the expected titter from the less compassionate people in the courtroom. The just and impartial magistrate raised another laugh when he announced that he could not send King to Arohata, "because you're not a woman".

He went on to point out that disciplinary problems would arise if he sent King to Mt Crawford prison and he would therefore impose a fine, although he was suspicious of how King would raise the money.

Throughout the trial Mr Wicks made no effort to conceal the disgust which the defendant's private life so obviously aroused in him.

Although King was being tried for theft the fact that he was a transvestite was never allowed to be forgotten. The "Evening Post" reported the trial under the headline, "Thief worked from under pervert's bed". Who are the perverts in our society? Those who are transvestite in a heterosexual society or those who abuse their offices to make fun of them.

A few other examples of Mr Wicks S.M.'s Thought may be of interest to people who still consider that personal prejudices have no bearing on the process of law in our society.

A young labourer was recently convicted of stealing a radio which was traced from the second-hand dealer to which the radio was sold. The police suggested that $18 restitution be paid to the dealer, the price that he paid the defendant for the article.

The defendant was dressed in a faded denim jacket, a white shirt, dark trousers and a purple T shirt. All his garments, as well as his long hair were quite clean, if slightly dishevelled.

"Were you dressed like that when you sold the radio"? asked Wicks. The youth nodded.

"Well the second-hand dealer can whistle for his money as far as I'm concerned — he should have known better than to buy a radio from someone looking like that. (e.g. like a large percentage of male university students).

To a youth who broke a bottle on the street Mr Wicks commented, "Apart from possible harm to motorcar tyres, this town's so full of hippies and hoboes walking around in bare feet you might kill someone with tetanus.

Notice the order — damage to property first, and people second. And of course we all know that anyone minus shoes and socks is either a hippy or a hobo, don't we. You in the library without the footwear — which slot do you fit in to?

By Don Franks