The lawyers involved in a forthcoming sexual abuse trial involving Pitcairn Islanders were photographed returning from Pitcairn wearing red tinsel wigs and plastic breasts. It’s another weird turn in a case that’s tearing the island settled by the “Bounty” muntineers apart.

Prosecutors Simon Moore and Christine Gordon, along with former presiding magistrate Gray Cameron, were photographed with red tinsel wigs and plastic breasts on the vessel MV Braveheart in April.

At the time, they were returning from Pitcairn after the laying of sex charges against nine residents of the remote territory halfway between New Zealand and South America.

Their actions libelled the Pitcairn people, Herbert Ford, director of the Pitcairn Islands Study Centre near San Francisco, said in a statement today.

“(The photographs are) but the latest in a more than three-year long litany of bits and pieces about this matter that have been scattered about the world thus irrevocably tainting world opinion of the Pitcairn Island people,” Mr Ford said. “The Pitcairn people are being held up to world-wide public hatred, ridicule and contempt by the piecemeal approach to prosecution of this matter by Pitcairn Governor Richard Fell.”

Mr Ford called for the upcoming trial to be abandoned and a restorative justice plan to be put in place. “This plan aims to hold families and a community together, rather than tearing it apart as is now being done to Pitcairn Island,” he said.

The British High Commission has taken legal advice about the photos, but a spokesman has said the commission did not believe the pictures compromised the prosecution.