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'Oldest gay in the village' finally receives apology for gross indecency conviction

Stephen Delahunty

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Stephen Delahunty

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'Oldest gay in the village' finally receives apology for gross indecency conviction

George Montague

A former Burnham villager has expressed his delight after receiving an apology from the Government for his conviction for gross indecency nearly 50 years ago.

George Montague, 93, was in his mid-40s when he was originally convicted, which he claims was due to a homophobic police officer.

George sent a letter to the Prime Minister in November last year requesting an apology and described his delight after finding a response when he returned from a holiday in Thailand.

George said: “It was the most wonderful letter I’ve had in my entire life.

“It made my day. I wasn’t guilty of anything, only being able to love another man.”

George has been an iconic fixture at Brighton Pride and London Pride events, taking to the streets in his mobility scooter with his banner reading 'I'm the oldest gay in the village'.

He has spent much of his life campaigning against homophobia and raising money for the Brighton-based Rainbow Fund.

George grew up in Hitcham Lane and later lived in Woodland Glade, Farnham Common, where he ran Montague Pattern and Casting Company in Cippenham Lane. He married and had three children.

George left his wife 30 years ago to allow her to find another partner and he now lives in Brighton with his civil partner, Somchai Phukkhlai.

He added: “I’m 94 in a few weeks, and I don’t drink anymore so there wont be much of a celebration, but I’m still enjoying myself.”

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