Great Britain: Dial S for Squalor

The subdued, oak-paneled court room with its blur of bobbing white wigs and ceremonial gowns has been pictured in a hundred books and movies. The familiar scene was set again last week when the grey-wigged judge, Sir Archie Marshall, took his seat beneath the arched white ceiling of the No. 1 Courtroom and nodded for the trial to begin. But few Old Bailey trials, real or imagined, have even remotely resembled Regina v. Stephen Thomas Ward.

Oscar Wilde, whose trial for sodomy took place in the same courtroom, defined a cynic as one...

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