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Monday, 7 April 2008

The magistrate, the singer and the solidophiles

A justice of the peace in Wales has agreed not to sit while an inquiry gets under way into comments in a TV documentary, in which he said gays were paedophiles.

Byron Butler's comments came in a Week In, Week Out episode called "The Only Gay in the Village" on BBC1 Wales, in which he was interviewed by the former Steps singer H, or Ian Watkins, himself gay. Watkins had gone back to his home town of Cwmparc, where he grew up. The programme went out last month. Watkins has since called for the magistrate to be stripped of his JP's role.

Butler, a 67-year-old retired butcher, said of gays, "We haven't got much time for them." Bizarrely, he continued, "Well, I think probably it's a suspicion of the mainstream that they perhaps will interfere with young people and so on and that's historically been the case. That is the danger. Paedophiles, solidophiles [sic], not necessarily, but they do, don't they? That's the reality." (The "[sic]" is the BBC's, by the way.)

A complaint about his comments was made to the Office of Judicial Complaints after the programme was screened.

An outraged H says, "I was dumbfounded by his comments – and I was even more shocked when I found out he is a magistrate sitting in judgement on people. There's no way I believe he can be fair and impartial with people when he makes comments about gay people being paedophiles. It's just so outrageous.

"There's absolutely no evidence to back up what he says and it's very offensive. The world's changed and Wales has changed so much."

You can see more about the programme and Watkins's experience of growing up gay here.

Oh, by the way, have fun trying to track down the word solidophile.


Anonymous said...

what does it mean?

Andy Armitage said...

I have no idea, Anon, I'm afraid. I did try to track it down a year ago when I wrote that post. I've just done a wildcard search in my onboard Concise Oxford, and it brings up ten words or phrases that begin with "solid".