cover of “Private Eye”, 6 July 1979
The “Trial of the Century” ran from May 8th until 22nd June, 1979. The QCs gave good drama. Several of the witnesses disgraced themselves intentionally or incidentally, only adding to the hub-bub of commentary and speculation surrounding the trial. Except for George Deakin, none of the other defendants gave evidence. At the summing up, the judge, Joseph Cantley, made every effort to discredit the prosecution witnesses while drawing the Establishment wagons around Jeremy Thorpe. After almost two days’ deliberation, on 22nd June, the jury acquitted all four defendants on all charges.
Almost all comment then focussed on how the Liberals were going to forward without the embarrassment of Thorpe.