SQUARE.JW.01This isn’t an exclusive: the real identity of the players has already appeared in the blogosphere. However, it seems to me that this sordid public sex act is about far more than tabloid titillation. As a case, it has elements that are (as my Great Aunt Lizzie used to say) highly irregular.

Barrister Graeme Stening pled Not Guilty to one count of outraging public decency by engaging in a sexual act with another person in Spur Road, south east London, on August 20th 2015. Spur road is very close to Waterloo Station, and the alleged act took place at 7.15 pm…at that time of the year, therefore, in broad daylight.

Mr Stening had seemingly collided with Lunchtime O’Booze in the shape of another very senior member of the legal profession….a well-placed lady with a famous husband who has for some years been a high-profile man in public affairs. What’s more, her background is one of human rights law. She is now a judge.

Apparently, the police allege that Mr Stening was petting the other lady heavily while engaging in whacky activities with one of his own bodily appendages. The pair spent a night in the cells (not together, and perhaps a good thing too) and the next morning were given unconditional bail.

Obviously, the lady being a judge with a human rights background, she would have known how easy it might be to excuse a drunken tryst with cries of sex-attack; and equally – having a prominent and famous husband plus four children – having done that, she could then claim anonymity. That is not for me to assert as a fact, because I have no proof of it.

However, over the following weeks, the allegedly salacious silk pondered how she’d wound up in flagrante in Spur Road, and decided that she had been far too drunk to give her consent. So six weeks later she told the police that, actually, the encounter had been an assault. Medium-term amnesia is rare in such cases, but not unknown.

Mr Stening’s wife, in the light of this, is standing by her publicly named husband – who could either be a sex-beast, or merely a bloke who engaged in a consensual knee trembler after too much Meursault ’97. You must make your own minds up on that, based on the evidence and/or your depth of feminist commitment.

The lady judge’s publicly controversial husband, however, doesn’t have to worry about the scandal at all, because his assaulted/randy wife gets anonymity….having declared herself a victim.

And as it happens, the case comes up on June 23rd 2016. Almost a year after the events of that steamy August day. It is also, most of you will know, the day we go to the polls and decide whether David Cameron is a bare-faced humbug who never had the slightest intention of leaving the EU, or has negotiated a profoundly reformist ‘stay-in’ deal with Moscow Brussels.

After that date, the foiled Spunkup in Spur Street will be a far less sensitive issue for the lady judge’s popular hubby… would’ve thought. Allegedly.

This is an appalling case, but not solely because of the potential attack/mutual wank in public elements.

What makes it a clear case of inequality before the Law is that the female participant gets anonymity, but the male doesn’t…and her name was kept quiet for some time before she belatedly decided she’d been assaulted. Leaving him the accused, and her the victim.

One also smells the all-too-familiar whiff of potential power corrupting the process of justice here….on two levels.

First, the law on victim anonymity in UK sex cases has been abused, is being abused more and more, and should be made far more narrow. Currently, it is an ass.

Second, there is a suspicion – no more than that, because the case is sub judice and we mustn’t jump to conclusions before all the ‘facts’ are known – that the assault allegation is being put forward to gain tactical secrecy for the powerful….and/or to protect her career. For you see, the lady concerned is a prominent member of the Bar Disciplinary Tribunal.

Not a job often associated with alleged loss of sexual discipline in a public place.

And equally, June 23rd is Brexit Day. The result of which will reveal whether her husband’s gamble has paid off or not.

bojomarinaHowever, at this point the plot perhaps thickens. An article written about the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights and the jurisdiction of the ECJ by Marina Wheeler (left) – of relevance to the Brexit case – has been expunged from the ukhumanrights blog. And Ms Wheeler (herself a senior Silk and part-time columnist) recently wrote a long piece in The Spectator ripping David Cameron’s ‘EU deal’ apart at the seams. I’d imagine her ‘in’ to The Spectator is related to the close relationship her husband Boris Johnson has always enjoyed with it.

Graeme Stening (who knows Marina Wheeler) is by contrast General Counsel and Partner at Doughty Hanson & Co, a company whose business focuses on European Union businesses and properties. A Brexit vote could only do the harm to that business.

Go to Google Mr Stening, and you will see a ‘related search’ heading that says Suzanne McKie – also a QC, and Managing Director of Trade Risks. Her career is one of specialisation in cases of whistle-blowing, and she is a heavyweight adviser in international legal cases concerning employment claims and discrimination, including reference to the International Labour Organisation Conventions and Constitutions of other countries. She too appears to be very pro EU.

But all links between her and Graeme Stening have been expunged from the page concerned. Which is, of course, now allowed under the idiotic European Data Protection Law.


It’s all very mysterious; but the bottom line is the same: rich and influential bods manipulating the Law to their advantage, a distinctly unlevel playing field, and yet more hints about just how important the Leave/Remain campaign is to the very powerful.

Related at The Slog: The data have run over the dogma on Brexit