Lord Hutchin­son of Lulling­ton, judge, 102

The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition) - - FAMILY ANNOUNCEMENTS -

From 1960 to 1985, Jeremy Hutchin­son, Lord Hutchin­son of Lulling­ton, who has died aged 102, was the finest silk in prac­tice at the crim­i­nal bar.

He de­fended Lady Chat­ter­ley, Fanny Hill and Chris­tine Keeler, Ge­orge Blake and Brian Roberts, editor of the Daily Tele­graph, and later the jour­nal­ist Dun­can Camp­bell in two cases that led to re­form of the Of­fi­cial Se­crets Act.

He per­formed a small mir­a­cle in achiev­ing the ac­quit­tal of Howard Marks, who later ad­mit­ted traf­fick­ing drugs.

He ended Mary White­house’s at­tempt in 1982 to pros­e­cute the Na­tional The­atre for stag­ing Howard Bren­ton’s The Ro­mans in Bri­tain.

Born in Lon­don into the heart of what be­came the Blooms­bury group, to suc­cess­ful bar­ris­ter St John Hutchin­son and the model Mary Barnes, who was a close friend of the artist Clive Bell and who had been the model for Vir­ginia Woolf’s Mrs Dal­loway.

He at­tended Stowe school in Buck­ing­hamshire, and Mag­dalen Col­lege, Ox­ford, be­fore fol­low­ing his fa­ther into prac­tice at the crim­i­nal bar.

In 1940 he mar­ried the ac­tor Peggy Ashcroft.

Both his ca­reer and his mar­riage were in­ter­rupted by war ser­vice.

Jug­gling his paci­fism with his hos­til­ity to Hitler, he vol­un­teered for non­com­bat­ant ser­vice in the Royal Navy, and was wire­less op­er­a­tor on board HMS Kelly when it was sunk off Crete.

He was res­cued af­ter some hours in the wa­ter, al­though not be­fore Peggy, who was then eight months preg­nant, was told he had been drowned.

The mar­riage lasted un­til 1965, dur­ing which time they formed a “power cou­ple” – she the great per­former on stage, and he in court.

They grad­u­ally grew apart, but he al­ways spoke of the hap­pi­ness she had brought and her de­vo­tion to their two chil­dren.

He was con­temp­tu­ous about the sala­cious ex­ag­ger­a­tions in an unau­tho­rised bi­og­ra­phy of Ashcroft, com­plain­ing that con­trary to its ver­sion of their split: “adul­tery did not come into it”.

The two re­mained good friends un­til her death in 1991.

Shortly af­ter the di­vorce he mar­ried June Os­born, widow of the con­cert pi­anist Franz Os­born.

They had met when she had been called for jury ser­vice at the Old Bai­ley.

Jeremy took silk in 1960 and made his first con­tri­bu­tion to Bri­tish history, along­side Ger­ald Gar­diner, in de­fend­ing Pen­guin Books for pub­lish­ing Lady Chat­ter­ley’s Lover.

It was Jeremy who took de­fence ex­pert Pro­fes­sor Richard Hog­gart through his ev­i­dence.

He aroused the ire of the judge when he called Roy Jenk­ins, the ar­chi­tect of the new Ob­scene Publi­ca­tions Act, to tell the jury what judges think ju­rors should never be told – namely, par­lia­ment’s in­ten­tion.

Jenk­ins started to ex­plain – be­fore be­ing stopped by the judge – that the point of its new “lit­er­ary merit” de­fence was to pre­vent the pros­e­cu­tion of books such as Lady Chat­ter­ley’s Lover.

His wife June died in 2006. Jeremy is sur­vived by his son, Ni­cholas, and daugh­ter, El­iza.

Lord Hutchin­son of Lulling­ton.

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