Saturday, April 28, 2012

Christine Bott - LSD Scapegoat

In 1977 Christine Bott and her partner Richard Kemp were busted as part of the Operation Julie case. They had been manufacturing LSD on a massive scale in the area around Tregaron in remote west Wales. They lived for a time at a cottage appropriately named Penlleinau which means Headlands. Bott was originally from Suffolk and qualified as a GP after graduating from Liverpool University. When she moved to rural west Wales Bott indulged her twin passions of ingesting LSD and goat breeding. From goats’ milk she used to make cheese and yoghurt. She was a fully paid up member of the Goat Society and even entered her animals in competitions at local agricultural shows. Stella and Petra were her favourites. In July, 1975, at the Aberystwyth Agricultural Show Petra was awarded first prize for best goat. The above photo appeared in the Cambrian News. Two years later when Operation Julie broke it was published in newspapers and magazines throughout the world. Mostly the photo appeared sans goat, as editors were just interested in grabbing a recent head-shot of the unlikely drugs queen. In 1978 Christine Bott was sentenced to 9 years in prison for her part in the manufacture and supply of LSD. It was, in most people’s view, an extremely harsh sentence. The fact that she was an unapologetic advocate of LSD didn’t help her cause. She was even seen carrying a copy of Timothy Leary’s Politics of Ecstasy during her trial. She ended up serving about four-and-half years before being released in 1982. Since then she has maintained a very low profile and is believed to be living in Ireland. The above photograph is the copyright of one of Wales’s foremost snappers, Raymond Daniel. However, as I understand it, the actual picture was taken by his wife, Olwen.