DPP V Morgan, 1975, by Parineeta

It was a long time ago that it had happened, she was an old woman now not given to long remembrances. But yesterday that journalist who had wanted to do a feature on her vexed her considerably by his probing. In the end he had successfully made her return to the past.

Her first marriage had been to Stanley Morgan, now languishing in jail but once a sprightly and good humoured gentleman, the kind of easy going fellow whom no one could ever manage to have a fight with. Good old Stanley. He had found her reserve and distant ways highly intriguing and married her after a short courtship.

Why she had given in to the short courtship? A veritable orphan, with a father long dead, the advantages his sycophants used to bestow long withdrawn, his protection gone. Her mother remarried to a highly jealous and possessive man who could not bear that her attention be diverted from him or his child she-- was almost veritably alone.

The first burst of attention from this happy go lucky suitor who always seemed in high spirits and a cheerful mood had gladdened her heart and made her think that to be married would not be a bad thing at all. Had she not committed herself after such a short courtship she would have known how emotionally immature her husband was but as it was the attention had taken her completely by surprise and she could see nothing else. Having been a shy wallflower throughout high school she had been on a drug induced high weeks after meeting him.

Their wedding was as most weddings are but the bride looked tremulous and uncertain in the photographs. In one she can hardly be seen, her husband’s arms are crushing her. In the other she looks like a deer caught in the headlights.

After a short honeymoon period during which they indulged the physical attraction they had to each other --they began to drift away. Stanley spent all his time with his mates and hardly any at home. He would socialize as if driven by some inner compulsion and his generosity towards his friends was unlimited. Two seconds without company and he would behave as the fish does when held out of water. He would seem to be on the point of expiring.

Such over dependence upon friends was fatal to the relationship even if the initial point of attraction had been his having many friends and her having been an introspective loner having none. At least none that she spoke regularly to. She found it hard to regularly be conversing with them. Phone calls with her were short, to be cut off when she was tired even when she really liked the person at the other end of the line.

She used to say at home when asked to go to parties that she had had enough interaction with people at her office itself. She was only an administrative assistant but she felt that she was lucky to have even this job in these times of economic stagnation. Stanley of course was in the RAF as was reported by many columnists when the case made headlines.

That day at the bar, his friends had told him that his wife was very beautiful. He used to solicit these praises very frequently, he couldn’t live without them either regarding himself or about her. This day, this autumn day when the dying leaves were curling onto themselves and scattering on the ground. These four trampled on to Morgan’s house. My wife loves sex, she is a little kinky though so she’ll feign protest. But you’ll enjoy yourselves immensely. I can guarantee her as the best you’ve ever had.

The crackle of the leaves underfoot and the gaping stars as he ushered them into the driveway with the words I pick up the tab for this evening’s enjoyment.

When she had opened the door the light from the hallway fell upon her husband’s face. In response to her queries and concern he simply took her into his arms and they tumbled in the hallway. He waved his friends inside and asked her to make something for them to eat. She put some cheese sticks and crackers before them with resentment saying that their cupboards were half empty. Morgan was supposed to have taken her grocery shopping in the car due to the uncertain weather. She had never learnt how to drive.

She had gone into the store room and was ironing the last of Morgan’s clothes. Ironing was something she did when stressed; the rhythm of the work calmed her down and steadied her. The guests were in the sitting room, united in agreement and mustering courage.

The frail looking and lean limbed Mrs. Morgan was waylaid on her way to the bedroom. She was carrying the empty clothes basket which was tossed aside, she was dragged on to the bed where she lay akimbo splayed like a starfish, arms pinned against the sheets while all of them took turns.

Later medical practitioners found heavy injuries around her vaginal area and thighs which demonstrated that force had been used. This inspection was after she had filed for rape. The defence who could not claim consent against this evidence claimed mistaken but genuine belief in consent. We thought she was protesting to heighten her arousal.

The House of Lords said that the belief in consent need not be reasonable but it does need to be genuine and honest. In such a case it is not possible that the claimed belief in consent could in any way have been honest. They could not even have been fooling themselves. Three of them were convicted and the husband who could not be due to spousal privilege was convicted of aiding and abetting.


This was the life that she had been given once. In a small house among a row of houses on the sidewalk.


DPP Versus Morgan 1976 ( This case was superseded by the Sexual Offences Act 2003 which came into force on 1 May 2004.)

DDP Versus Morgan 1976

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