In 1911, Gott was sentenced to four months in jail for publishing attacks on Christianity. He continued his campaign, however, and further periods of imprisonment followed: two weeks at Birkenhead in 1916; and six weeks in Birmingham in 1917. His final arrest was in 1921.
An appeal was lodged (supported by the National Secular Society, who had never accepted Gott as a member); the Lord Chief Justice upheld the conviction. Giving the judgement at the Court of Appeal, Lord Trevethin C.J. said:
"It does not require a person of strong religious feelings to be outraged by a description of Jesus Christ entering Jerusalem 'like a circus clown on the back of two donkeys'. There are other passages in the pamphlets equally offensive to anyone in sympathy with the Christian religion, whether he be a strong Christian, or a lukewarm Christian, or merely a person sympathizing with their ideals. Such a person might be provoked to a breach of the peace."
By the time Gott was released, his weak health had been broken by the harsh conditions of his imprisonment. He died on 4 November 1922, at the age of 56.
- ↑ "John Gott : Oxford Biography Index entry". http://www.oxforddnb.com/index/101047693/. Retrieved 2007-01-11.
- ↑ God and the trouser press: a old novelty | Past Notes by Graham Stewart - Times Online at www.timesonline.co.uk
- ↑ E. Lauterpacht, C. J. Greenwood, International Law Reports, Cambridge University Press, 1992, p.428
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