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And now to this court, which would determine how her dream would end.Her last visit to London, in 1990, had been so heady and different.
Adultery was not just routine but pervasive, as was the sexual fondling of infants and socially approved sex games among young children. The criminal charges stemmed from a longtime island practice of “breaking in” girls as young as 10.
Headlines around the world had focused on the criminal case: pitcairn’s cloud of vice.
But a more dramatic story lay buried in the thousands of pages piled high on a table partly shielding the Privy Council lords from the commoners facing them.
Colleen Mc Cullough, the Australian author of and wife of a well-known Pitcairn descendant, harshly criticized the British for prosecuting what even the Foreign Office grudgingly conceded was a “cultural trait.” She said, “It’s Polynesian to break your girls in at 12.”In the court chambers, the chatter hushed as the bailiff entered and intoned the words “Stevens Raymond Christian and others against the Queen.”The barristers, their powdered wigs sliding sideways from the sweat, hailed mostly from New Zealand, though their fees were being paid by the British.
A prominent London barrister named David Perry had been recruited to aid the colonists in these aristocratic surroundings.
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The open sea has pounded at it for millennia, creating a fortress of 500-foot cliffs fringed with just enough vegetation—banyan, coconut, breadfruit—to support a small population.