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by Bill Harry

When sentencing Janie Jones to seven years in prison in 1973 after she’d faced charges for vice and corruption, Judge King-Hamilton called her one of the most evil women he’d ever sentenced. Janie first hit the headlines in August 1964 when she appeared topless at a premier. A friend of hers, film producer Michael Klinger, had his new production ‘London in The Raw’ opening at the Jacey Cinema in Piccadilly. Topless dresses had proven to be something of a sensation in Paris and Klinger asked her if she would turn up at the films premier in a topless dress. She was known by her real name Marion Mitchell then and was accompanied by one of her sisters, Valerie. The two arrived in a Rolls Royce, stepped out of the car and let their wraps fall to their elbows, putting up a bold front for the photographers. “One must keep abreast of the times,” she said.

The Mitchell sisters were charged and appeared at Bow Street Court where they were bound over for a year and ordered to pay £25 costs. Offers to appear topless in Cabaret poured in, but Marion said, “I don’t want to make a career out of boobs’ and in 1966 changed her name to Janie Jones and had a minor hit with the number ‘Witches Brew.’

In 1967 she was charged with attempting blackmail after allegedly threatening a man with exposure for participating in sex orgies. She was acquitted. Later the same year she was charged with running a brothel, but was acquitted again. For a time she married singer John Christian Dee, basically as a publicity stunt to promote their act as the duo Adam & Eve, but it didn’t work out.

She was brought to trial once more as a result of a News of the World story in June, 1971 which accused her of being involved in a sex payola scandal. She was sentenced and sent to Holloway Prison. She was freed in April 1977 and spent some time nursing another sister, Beatrice, who
tragically died of cancer.

The sisters were miner’s daughters from Seaham in County Durham and Janie had won a clog-and-tap-dancing competition at the age of five. She left school at 15, worked in a hospital for a time, and then became a dancer at the Woolwich Empire before taking a job as a Windmill Girl.

Janie Jones - Witches Brew

More information on Janie Jones

Mersey Beat website
Rock and Pop