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Online paedophiles should lose homes for viewing child pornography, say campaigners

March 7, 2016 ·  By BEN GLAZE for www.mirror.co.uk

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Sick: It is hoped the law would deter perverts

Paedophiles who view online child porn could be stripped of their homes and pensions under a new law demanded by campaigners.

Vile perverts who look at sick images of kids being abused face being hit in the wallet as well as hauled before the courts, if the plans are given the green light.

The Children’s Charities’ Coalition on Internet Safety wants Justice Secretary Michael Gove to consider financially punishing internet perverts for their crimes.

A law going through the US aims to give cash compensation to victims of online paedophiles who view or download indecent images of the youngsters.

The “Amy and Vicky Act” would see them handed money stripped from offenders’ assets.

Coalition secretary John Carr told the Observer: “Conventional law enforcement methods are not working in this area, so we have to look for new deterrents.

Punishment: Michael Gove is being lobbied by children’s groups for tougher penalties

Punishment: Michael Gove is being lobbied by children’s groups for tougher penalties

“I think this could be a very effective one. If guys know they could lose their house or their pension, they’ll think twice.”

Experts estimate up to 60,000 people in Britain access child abuse images.

A nationwide investigation into internet paedophiles. Operation Notarise, caught more than 25,000 people suspected of viewing child abuse images, it was announced in 2014.

Estimates suggest that paedophiles in the UK alone could be holding between 150million and 360million images of child abuse.

The NSPCC said in 2013 that on average, up to 35,000 indecent images of children were found every day by police.

Officially called the Amy and Vicky Child Pornography Victim Restitution Improvement Act of 2015, the US law would force offenders to pay damages that would help their victims fund medical services, therapy, and legal fees.

It was drawn up following a Supreme Court case in which a victim, known only as “Amy”, sought $3.4million in damages from a man convicted of possessing images of her.

Problem: Experts think up to 60,000 people in Britain access child abuse images

Problem: Experts think up to 60,000 people in Britain access child abuse images

Her claim failed but judges backed the idea she deserved compensation.

The Children’s Charities’ Coalition on Internet Safety – which includes the NSPCC , Barnardo’s, Action for Children and the Children’s Society – hopes the move will be copied in the UK.

Mr Carr said: “Under the Proceeds of Crime Act, villains are made to forfeit their ill-gotten gains.

“By analogy, here is a mechanism to force a different kind of villain to pay for what they have done to an innocent child.”

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In their letter to Mr Gove, the charities say such a law would be a strong deterrent.

“Not only would potential offenders know that if they engage with child abuse images they run the risk of prosecution or of receiving a caution; in addition they would also know that a financial order could be made against them which may put their assets at risk,” they write.

“The sort of financial orders we envisage might cover an element of compensation to the victim, but also make a contribution to the cost of any necessary therapy or ongoing support the abused victim might need.

“Typically, this would relieve the state of some or all of the cost of providing such therapy or support.”

Depraved: Former rock star Ian Watkins

Depraved: Former rock star Ian Watkins

Used retrospectively, it could pave the way for claims against offenders such as Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins and actor Chris Langham.

Depraved rock star Watkins admitted making or possessing indecent images of children among a host of other sex offences, including trying to rape a baby, when he appeared in court in 2013.

He was jailed for 29 years with a further six years on licence.

Bafta Award winner Langham was locked up for 10 months in 2007 for downloading indecent videos of children from the internet. He was convicted of 15 charges.

During his trial, Langham admitted viewing the films but pleaded not guilty because he did not want to be labelled a paedophile.

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