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Sunday, 24 February 2019

The Janus Files – ‘Do you want five or fifteen?’

A true story documented by Michael Bryant in Janus 138
In 1972 I was 12 years old, an age which, generally speaking, heralds the beginnings of the gradual metamorphosis from boy to man. Body hair had started to sprout, my voice was becoming deeper, and my thoughts were becoming stranger. Like most twelve-year-olds, I was confused by these sudden alterations to my physical and mental states. Why was it that girls were now becoming attractive to me? Especially older girls, like those in the fifth and sixth forms at my school. Why was it that I now derived great satisfaction at looking at the posteriors of the more curvaceous females who surrounded me in great numbers? Why was it — and this was the biggest question — that I continually imagined the aforementioned fifth and sixth form girls, having their perfectly rounded bottoms well and truly spanked?
I concluded, after hours of considered intellectual argument with myself, that I must be going certifiably mad. Surely, other boys didn’t harbour and revel in these same bizarre images — if they did, they certainly kept it to themselves. Which of course, was exactly the same as I did. At school, boys got their backsides publicly whacked with slippers, table tennis bats, slats of wood and the traditional omnipresent cane; these punishments were executed openly and without any resistance from the victim. However, when a girl overstepped the mark — and this mark was considerably higher and more difficult to step over — a female sixth form prefect would enter our classroom and announce that the Headmistress would like to see the offending girl. Although I didn’t realise at the time, these pleasant (for me) but much too rare interruptions, were always during the last period of the day, and the unfortunate girl never reappeared for the rest of the lesson. This, I now believe, was a planned tactic to save the punished girl any embarrassment on resuming the lesson in, shall we say, an unfit state. It also meant that by the next day most of the class had forgotten that it had even happened, and only a clutch of the girl’s best friends found out about the precious details, of what had gone on in the Headmistress’s study. To augment my pitifully thin portfolio of fantasies, it was these shrouded particulars which I hankered after. Unfortunately, girls — back then at any rate — did not express the bravado of their male counterparts over corporal punishment, thus the tantalising facts were concealed from me by a conspiracy of silence amongst the females in my class. Instinctively I knew that if I asked a girl any probing questions about her visit to the Head, my self-diagnosed madness would leak out into the open, resulting in the most terrible of all schoolboy conditions to befall me — being the object of classmates’ ridicule.
It was a Sunday, much the same as many Sundays before, I got up late and languidly shuffled downstairs in search of the papers to read. In those days, my reading of the paper consisted of scrutinising the sports pages, to digest every match report about every team in England and Scotland. From the scorers and times of the goals concerning the glamour matches, featuring the likes of Leeds United, Manchester United and Chelsea, right down to the exact number of hardy souls who had turned up to watch Berwick verses Brechin. All this data had to be committed to memory for use on Monday morning, when there would be endless schoolyard conversations, debates and arguments over the various merits of our favourite teams. It was amazing how I could memorise thousands upon thousands of trivial facts about football, but found it totally impossible to recall one important date during a History exam!
This particular Sunday was to be very different. As I ventured into the dining room, there, on the table was the Sunday People. Before pursuing my usual habit of turning to the sports page and working my way through the paper backwards, something made me scan the front page. Under the heading Exposed: Top Lawyer Who Traps Girls For Sex the eye-catching word spanked beamed out to me from the body of the text. Naturally intrigued by this, I furtively glanced around to make sure that I was alone, and then, eagerly read the spontaneously arousing account — of how a beautiful young woman called Sue Carr, whilst acting as a paid crew member on a boating trip, had been savagely spanked on her bare bottom by a man old enough to be her grandfather. Exciting stuff!
At 19, Miss Carr was only a year older than the sixth form girls that I leched after so much. I was immediately smitten by her good looks and the fact she was the only adult woman that I knew of in the world who had actually been genuinely spanked. In the article, she alleged that John Brooks, a lawyer and former mayor of Kensington, had trapped her on board his cabin-cruiser and ordered her to strip, before spanking her naked bottom about 30 times. Throughout the day, I regularly went back to the paper to try and re-live the invigorating feeling of that first unexpected discovery. After a while an important fact dawned upon me; in the headline, it stated that the girl was trapped for sex, but there was no mention of sexual intercourse having taken place, just that she had been spanked. Suddenly the penny dropped, could it be, spanking was sex, or at any rate, some sort of subdivision of it? This was a great relief to me, as I realised that if important men like John Brooks had similar feelings to me, then perhaps I was not going mad after all.
After that fateful weekend, much to my parents’ amazement, I became an avid reader of newspapers, in a hope of finding more exciting snippets and fragments of evidence which would prove beyond any doubt that it was fairly normal having these urges. Thinking back, the most memorable of the press stories which turned up in the puberty-driven months which followed that Sunday, was the account of how the actor Derren Nesbitt, used a leather strap to discipline his then wife, the very attractive actress Anne Aubrey. To make sure Anne was under no illusions that he meant business, Mr Nesbitt had the presence of mind to take down her knickers before applying the strap to her most praiseworthy bare posterior. Obviously, I was mature enough to realise that this particular incident had nothing to do with sexual foreplay in any way. Mr Nesbitt had ended up in a court of law, charged with assault and, presumably, was soon the visit the courts again, only this time it would be to settle his divorce. So, there was still an element of doubt for this very unworldly schoolboy, who was fast approaching his fourteenth year.
Derren Nesbitt & Anne Aubrey
But, indisputable proof was just around the corner; the splendid John Elliott Brooks and the delectable Sue Carr were making the headlines again, almost two years to the day, after I had first read that eye-opening, fly-bursting story. Mr Brooks, in his wisdom had decided to sue the Sunday People for libel damages, against claims which the article had made, namely that he had ‘trapped girls’ and was also a ‘menace to young girls’.
So, what really happened, prior, during and after Sue Carr got her bare bottom smacked, on board the cabin-cruiser the Adelaide III?

In court, as is usual in libel actions, both counsels, Mr Roger Gray QC, acting for Brooks and Mr Michael Eastham QC, acting for the defendant, tried to bring into disrepute the lifestyle or the actions of the main protagonists, hoping any unsavoury facts which they managed to reveal would cast a shadow of doubt into the minds of the jury — made up of nine men and three women.
Mr Eastman tried a two-pronged attack on John Brooks, laying open his private sexual tastes and trying to prove beyond doubt that Miss Carr had no idea what was in store for her during the day that she was crewing his boat. If he could establish that she had not consented to the beating then it followed that the Sunday People were right in their claims about John Brooks. His main problem when cross examining Brooks, the flamboyant ex war-time Lieutenant Colonel, was that he was brazenly open about his sexual preferences, and admitted that he had spanked about half a dozen women on his boat, the same number at his Cliffords Inn flat and another one or two after hunt lunches — all of course, with the recipients’ consent. He was equally without candour when he stated that; ‘Spanking girls’ bottoms is fun and no more notorious than the Italian habit of bottom pinching.’ To reaffirm his clients’ claims, Mr Gray, when addressing the jury, assured them: ‘Every healthy normal, vigorous man is a bottom slapper in mind if not in deed.’
The crucial point of consent hinged on the meeting Sue Carr and John Brooks had the evening before the boat trip. Sue, who had answered Brooks’ advert in Private Eye, for good natured young ladies to crew a motor yacht arrived in London from Manchester that day and had gone to Mr Brooks offices in Little Essex Street.
The scene of the spanking, the Adelaide III.

John Brooks’ version of this meeting: First, he explained what the job of crew member would involve and then Miss Carr asked, ‘would that be all?’ To this comment Mr Brooks turned to his clerk, a Mrs Pamela Putnik, and said, ‘Pamela, what is the subject we have discussed? Tell Miss Carr in your own words.’ Mrs Putnik answered, ‘Oh, you mean flagellation.’
Flagellation was being discussed in the office because, at one time, solicitors had the right to beat their articled clerks, and Mrs Putnik had been teased about this on several occasions by Mr Brooks. It was quickly made clear to the jury that at no time had Mr Brooks ever placed Mrs Putnik over his knee for a spanking, in her capacity as an articled clerk, or otherwise. But judging from the conversations between the two, if he had not in deed, he probably had in mind.
According to Mr Brooks, Sue Carr seemed totally at ease with the way the conversation was going and asked for an exact definition of her duties. Mr Brooks then came straight out with the statement: ‘If she came on board, she must agree to take her clothes off and be smacked. She would get a fee of £15 if she was smacked but only £5 if she wasn’t.’
Brooks, Sue, Pamela and another woman called Dorothy Rolls — Mr Brooks social and sporting secretary — then left his office and went to a nearby pub, called the Wig and Pen. After Mr Brooks had bought everyone a drink the conversation returned to the fate of Sue Carr’s backside if she turned up the next day. Miss Rolls spoke directly to Sue and said, ‘Of course, you will be beaten.’
Sue Carr left the pub after finalising an arrangement to meet John Brooks at his family flat in Chelsea the next day. However, the three other drinkers continued to speculate on whether or not their comments about flagellation, spankings and beatings had put Miss Carr off. Pamela Putnik and Dorothy Rolls thought that it had, and bet John Brooks £1 each that she would not turn up. On the following Monday they both found out that they had lost their wager and paid up.
Sue Carr’s version of what happened: Overall, Sue confirmed John Brooks’ account of the meeting, but she insisted that no mention of flagellation was made and no mention of any money. When asked by Michael Eastman if Mr Brooks had told her that he wished to beat her bottom, would she have gone? Sue replied ‘No, you would not have seen me for dust if he had.’ She then admitted that Miss Rolls had said, ‘Of course, you will be beaten during their conversation in the pub, but she had not taken this comment seriously.
Brooks’ counsel, Mr Gray, then called another witness, a Miss Joy Cobbold, who had been John Brooks’ secretary for three years. Under oath she confirmed that Pamela Putnik had mentioned the word flagellation to Sue Carr, but added, that she was amazed by this, and promptly left the office, not wanting to hear any more of the conversation. When cross-examined, Mr Eastman asked her ‘You had no idea that your employer liked smacking women’s bottoms?’ ‘Oh, I knew it,’ she answered.
Making the headlines in 1974 a confident looking John Brooks...
... and rather wistful Sue Carr.

Sue Carr’s version of events: After meeting Mr Brooks at his flat at 9.30 on Saturday morning, they drove to his club at Sunbury-on-Thames. They then took the boat out onto the river, eventually tying up near a public house and going for a drink. At the pub, they met some friends of his. On returning to the boat they shared a bottle of wine with their lunch and then, after completing the meal Mr Brooks said, ‘Now take your clothes off I am going to beat you.’
Sue Carr said that she was quite taken aback by this order and felt that John Brooks thought that she should have known what was about to happen. She protested for several minutes; to put him off, she told him that she had just had an operation. Sue then described to the court the details of her ordeal: ‘He told me to close the curtains, which I did; there were some children fishing on the bank. I turned my back and took my clothes off. I laid face down on the bunk, as he told me. He then started raking about in the opposite locker. I asked him what he was looking for. He said, ‘I’m looking for a piece of rope.’ He could not find it. He then started slapping my backside. He paused to pour whisky on to me, to stop the bruising, he then continued the spanking.’
Mr Eastman asked, ‘At the end of the day what was the state of your bottom?’
Sue Carr answered ‘Very sore. It was fairly bruised.’
After the spanking, Mr Brooks poured her a gin and she laid back down and dozed until it was time to make the return journey to Mr Brooks’ flat in Chelsea. This journey was made in his chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce, but they first stopped off for drinks at the Kings Head, Shepperton. During the drive back to London, Mr Brooks slipped her two cheques, both made out for the sum of ten pounds, which she accepted as deserved compensation for her stinging rump. Under cross-examination, Sue agreed that, if she had ‘screamed her head off’ on the boat, somebody would have probably heard her. She also admitted that she went back with Mr Brooks to his flat, later in the day, where she met his wife Dorothy and his son Nicholas. Under questioning she went on to reveal that she spent that evening out with Nicholas and they dated on several occasion after that. During the period of this relationship she never mentioned to him about the spanking, she had received from his father.
It was some five weeks later that she told her flat mate, a Mr Spiegel, and on his suggestion she contacted the Sunday People. The Sunday People paid Sue £450 for her story, of which, she gave Mr Spiegel about £400 to clear a garage debt.
John Brooks’ version of events: Whilst chatting in the cabin, Mr Brooks asked Sue Carr, ‘Do you want five or fifteen?’
After some deliberation Sue answered, ‘I think I’ll have fifteen.’ She then drew the curtains on the shore side of the boat, took off her clothes and laid face down on the bunk. Mr Brooks then began to smack her naked bottom with his hand. After a short period of time, he paused and rubbed some whisky onto her buttocks to reduce the sting and bruising. He resumed the spanking until Sue said, ‘That’s enough.’
He could not recall how many smacks he gave her but it was certainly less than 30.
At no time during the spanking did she cry out in pain. Mr Brooks confirmed that later, as they were being driven back to his flat, he passed Sue two cheques for £10 each. He also pointed out that during the journey Sue had asked the chauffeur to stop, so she could watch a wedding — hardly the sort of behaviour of somebody who had recently been forced to strip naked and had then been severely beaten, as alleged in the Sunday People.
Pamela Putnik, arriving at court to give vital evidence.

Mr Justice Bristow, in his summing up, told the jury that if they thought the newspaper had got something wrong in their article, they should find for Mr Brooks.
He went on to summarise the actual act of bottom-slapping, thus: You may think that his conduct is just another forgivable little sexual aberration, the sort of thing that right-thinking people take in their stride. Or you may think that to suffer from a form of sexual perversion marked by a love of cruelty is something a good deal more sinister and dangerous — that these are his true colours behind the respectable surface of a top solicitor, married man and ex-mayor.
The jury found for Mr Brooks, presumably choosing to believe that Sue Carr did consent to having her bare bottom smacked during the day out on the boat. There was, however, a sting in the tail of their verdict. They awarded a ‘derisory’ sum of just a halfpenny, at the time the smallest coin in the realm. The jury obviously did not want to be seen condoning Mr Brooks’ bottom-slapping activities and so, although he won a technical victory, financially he suffered the heavy blow of having to find about £7,500 to pay his own counsel and legal team. To put this amount into context — the average price of a 3-bedroomed semi-detached house in 1974 was under £5,000.
John Brooks, celebrating his victory.

John Brooks put on a brave face to the waiting media circus; he had after all, achieved what he had set out to do, and proven to a jury that everything he did was ‘in fun and with consent.’ When asked if he intended to carry on spanking, his answer was typically forthright, ‘Whenever the girls are pretty, willing and tempting to me, I will continue.’
Dorothy, his very understanding wife, was standing by his side. She turned to him and said, ‘I should have thought you would have learned your lesson now.’ She went on to say ‘Life with John is great fun. He has always been good to me.’
Mrs Brooks made it clear that she did not approve of her husband’s eccentricity for reddening young women’s posteriors, but she was willing to put up with it.
Defiantly, John Brooks announced to the press his family motto ‘I will see it through to the end’ in a reference to his desire to clear his name. Before he and his supporters repaired to a public house to toast his victory, Brooks shouted, ‘As a gentleman I could not let the untrue allegations stand.’
Sue Carr did not attend the last day in court. She probably sensed that the pendulum of victory was swaying towards the Brooks legal team, and also doubtlessly felt that she did not want to be part of the inescapable feeding frenzy of the press after the verdict was announced. Her initial 15 minutes of fame which had been exciting and profitable, was now turning very sour. Sue Carr was no ‘bimbo’: she was an intelligent University student, but it must have been something of an ordeal to have to give evidence in the intimidating surroundings of the High Court and have personal information about her relationship with Mr Spiegel bandied about for all to hear. Hopefully, Sue was not too traumatised and got on successfully with her life and career from that point on.

It’s only a matter of conjecture on my part, but I feel that, if we brought everything forwards in time, just over a quarter of a century, to the present day, the outcome for the main two characters would be starkly different.
Over the last ten years, there have been several high-profile libel actions centring on lurid allegations of sexually-related conduct. Some of these have resulted in the plaintiff getting astronomical pay-outs. So, in the first place, considering that people are more liberal in their thinking these days, coupled with the present air of contempt that the general public have for the press, I think that these two factors may well have brought Mr Brooks a substantial award of damages against the newspaper in this era.
In the second place, there are a myriad of commercial possibilities that could be undertaken now. Advertising agencies would be falling over each other to sign the pair up, probably to feature in a pizza advertisement — in much the same comical way that directly opposing international rugby players and footballers who were unsuccessful in penalty shoot-outs, have been used. I can see it now, John Brooks could be cast as an earthy 18th century hunting squire and Sue Carr as his serving wench. Fresh home and famished from the rigours of the hunt, Squire Brooks calls for his favourite pizza. On tasting a new and unfamiliar pizza topping, served to him in error by Sue, he explodes into a rage and pulls her across his knee in readiness to impart a suitable chastisement. Just before the first smack lands, the squire realises that he likes the new topping better than his usual favourite — cue the line ‘These new pizza toppings from xxxxx are really spanking good!’
Cut to close up of Sue’s relieved face, as she says ‘I take it that sir won’t be needing his bottle of whisky today then!’
Of course whisky was the one product that the agencies would not have used Brooks to advertise. Scotsmen around the world must have come close to fainting when they read of how he wasted the precious liquid, rubbing it into Sue’s crimsoned nates.
There was one spin-off from the case that Janus readers might be interested in. The 1976 film The Ups and Downs of a Handyman has a ‘spanking squire’, based loosely on the lifestyle of John Brooks. In the film the squire was lecherously played by Benny Hill’s sidekick Bob Todd. By today’s standards it is quite mild in content, one could say that it catered for the most English of English tastes.
To start a typical day, the squire would have a refreshing shower and at the same time spank his wife, played by Olivia Syson. Both are nude, except that Bob insists on wearing his bowler hat! Later in the morning the squire goes hunting not for foxes, but for eighteen-year-old schoolgirls who seem to inhabit the local wood. Eva Cadell, dressed in the traditional garb of white shirt, grey skirt, grey blazer and of course suspenders and stockings is fleeing from the squire but has the misfortune to fall over the local policeman. He dutifully apprehends the young minx and delivers her back to the squire for a well-deserved bottom warming. In the best scene (my opinion only), the village call-girl played by the delicious Gay Soper, finds herself in the traditional ‘over the knee’ spanking position: skirt turned back, and black panties presented, tightly stretched across an eminently smackable derriere — pass me the whisky somebody!
Bob Todd, making the perfect start to the day! Although Olivia Syson probably disagrees.


  1. Interesting story but now, in the age of #metoo, this man would be vilified!

  2. Hmmmm... Wonder if I could tempt my son's girlfriend to have her bottom spanked for £20