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Judge didn't back paedophile group
A senior judge did not support a controversial paedophile rights campaign, a judicial investigation has found.
Court of Appeal judge Lord Justice Fulford was accused in a number of reports of supporting an organisation known as the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) in the late 1970s, while a volunteer at the National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL).
An inquiry by Lord Kerr of Tonaghmore, a justice of the Supreme Court and former lord chief justice of Northern Ireland, concluded the allegation was without substance, the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO) said.
Lord Justice Fulford, who voluntarily stepped down from sitting on criminal proceedings pending the investigation, will now resume sitting in all jurisdictions.
The investigation follows a series of claims made earlier this year over links between former prominent NCCL figures - Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman, her husband and fellow Labour MP Jack Dromey, and former Labour health secretary Patricia Hewitt - and PIE.
Following the investigation into Lord Justice Fulford, also known as Sir Adrian Fulford, all complaints against him have been dismissed by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas, and the Lord Chancellor, Justice Secretary Chris Grayling.
Both have agreed there is no evidence to support allegations of misconduct or to undermine Sir Adrian's position as a judicial office holder.
It was alleged in the Mail on Sunday that Sir Adrian was a founder member of a campaign group set up to defend PIE, while it openly called for the age of consent to be lowered to four.
The appeal court judge said he had ''no memory'' of founding the Conspiracy Against Public Morals campaign, but said he had been ''briefly involved'' in the 1970s with the NCCL.
As part of the inquiry, Lord Kerr looked at a number of documents, including those which had been referred to in media reports, JCIO said. Two lengthy interviews with Sir Adrian were conducted in which the allegations were examined.
Lord Kerr concluded that Sir Adrian "was not and had never been a supporter of PIE or its aims", the JCIO said, and there was no reason for Sir Adrian to have disclosed his links with the NCCL on appointment as a judge.
As part of the investigation, Lord Kerr also considered a number of judgments in which Sir Adrian had been involved since his appointment to the High Court bench, concerning sexual crimes.
Lord Kerr found nothing "untoward" about any decisions reached, the JCIO said.