UK: The reason we shouldn’t compare paedophiles to other criminals – Opinion

Source: 11/27/22

Contains extracts of a story first published in November 2020

I’ve been Truro Crown Court’s resident court reporter for quite some years now and I like to think I’ve seen it all, from the grotesque, to the disturbing, to the shocking, to the at time humorous. I try to stay away from our comment sections, but I appreciate everyone has an opinion and a right to air it on Facebook or elsewhere online – unless proceedings are active of course.

But that said, sometimes I do venture into the comments section and it’s fair to say nothing winds me up quite like some of the comments regarding sex offenders – particularly when sex offenders are compared to other types of defendants.

Let’s get this straight from the start, this is not a defence of anyone who has downloaded or viewed indecent images of children on the Internet. It’s absolutely vile and even when contact offences haven’t been committed, downloading and creating a demand for such vile material leads in turn to children being raped and abused. In short, if people didn’t download child abuse images then far fewer kids would be abused.

When I report on drug dealers being jailed, or someone sent down for an act of extreme violence, the response is often ‘well paedos get let off’. First of all, they don’t. Secondly, how we deal with people who view indecent images of children is a huge question.

In my years as a court reporter I genuinely could not even begin to hazard a guess of how many people I’ve seen sentenced for the possession of indecent images of children. “Kill them”, “behead them”, “hang them high”. Within ten minutes of any CornwallLive story relating to paedophiles caught with indecent images being published, you can bet your bottom dollar that these replies will be posted in the comments section underneath the story.

At times it’s been difficult to listen to the abuse the children had to endure. These are real children going through undeserved pain and emotional hell because there is a perverted demand to view such material on hidden parts of the internet.

What drives people to commit these offences and get off by looking at such filth? It is an illness, an ingrained perversion, an escalation of a porn addiction or a gateway to committing contact offences?

Of course every case is different but what is a fact is that the majority of first time offenders in indecent images cases are not sent to prison.

This causes outrage each and every time, but why do judges so often decide this is the best course of action?

Well, most of the time defendants are given either a suspended sentence or community order with a requirement that they carry out a rehabilitative course to address their perversions.

It is often said that short prison sentences don’t allow for defendants to carry out rehabilitative courses, so is society actually better served by these people being spared jail and treated? Judges and legal teams seem to think so and it seems that the statistics prove this to be correct. A short jail sentence may be a shock to the offender but ultimately they re-emerge into society with the same issues untreated. Once the shock of jail wears off, it is likely the offender will at some point at least entertain the idea of once again resorting to such sick sexual gratification. It is also worth noting that judges are bound by sentencing guidelines designed to ensure consistent justice throughout the land so can’t just throw anybody into prison and throw away the key.

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Even tho it’s an English article I appreciate the author taking the time to talk about the offender side and looking into the reoffending rate.

This author complains about a problem entirely enabled by the DDI.
YES! Child porn was available before the DDI, but it was quantitatively less available. We’re talking orders of magnitude here!
What’s more unnerving is of all the talk of ” abusive images” few ever see them in evidence. Is the nude child’s body itself indecent, or is it only when the legs a spread? How are we defining indecency? How are we defining ” abuse” without dispute?

“Unless the proceedings are active…” The DDI outpaces it all. Guilt is presumptively or factually established many times before actual investigation or arrest. Ex: EZ vid of teens driving around in car with paintball guns shooting unsuspecting citizens walking on sidewalks.
Obviously proof of guilt posted online with the perpetrators own consent. ” I didn’t commit the crime I just filmed it.”
But then comes the informed copycats, who steal a car & wear face masks while they do the same behavior and post the vid to an obscure server somewhere in …God knows where. Eventually the vid gets watched and copied and posted just to be used and seen in mainstream social media. How many kids have been hospitalized from attempting to mimic a social ” challenge” like ,Try to eat a tablespoon full of ground cinnamon! However long before the cinnamon challenge mainstream TV media was promoting the ice water challenge to benefit a particular charity. This fact describes the cross contaminating between old and new media for implementing questionable group think as the social norm. The same is true for the author, she’s confused believing the act of incarnation is not enough for social good. I’ll bet she supports registration too because it assists with the untreated dumped into society. A society were children are servants and forced to buy identity protection to serve the same master. For social good.

Unsurprisingly there are quite a few hate comments posted in the UK article. Also, unsurprisingly – I decided to write a retort to those hate comments:

“Most articles in regard to the crime of illegal images are from the perspective of the victims. There is nothing wrong with looking at another perspective – not out of sympathy for his behavior but to better understand the problem for the sake of prevention.

More importantly what is missed here is that ostracization is counterproductive to one’s ability to fully reintegrate oneself back into society as a fully functional productive citizen – not because they deserve it, but because society deserves a rehabilitated member of the community. Ostracizing them won’t make them go away – that is society’s misguided thinking. Everyone needs a support system in order to function normally in this world – and don’t you think your community deserves a normally functional human being living amongst them?”

While I don’t agree with some of the opinions within the article, I appreciate the level headed approach.

downloading and creating a demand for such vile material leads in turn to children being raped and abused. In short, if people didn’t download child abuse images then far fewer kids would be abused.
Hold on a minute. This suggests that some guys (apologies for my sexism) who would not otherwise sexually abuse a child, decide to do so in order to produce illegal images of the abuse for profit. 🤔
It seems unlikely to me that someone not sexually attracted to children would says, “Yeah, sure, I’ll do that if you pay me enough.” 🤨
(Yes I’ve heard of “gay-for-pay”, but “criminal-sexual-abuse-of-a-child-for-pay”?? ‘Never heard of it.)
I would think the images are primarily produced as a “byproduct” of otherwise occurring abuse. 🤔

I just hope anyone who’s involved in these types of crimes gets the proper treatment they need

Not everyone with a CP offensive is a co-called “pedophile.” But hey, it sounds vilifying, so the media runs with it.

The same old and tired “viewing creates a demand” argument is a myth. But hey, it’s a nice emotional plea that sounds reasonable and true on the surface.

It’s past time to relook at the CP laws. They no longer reflect the world we live in.

There was an update on this US Sentencing Committee in June 2021 that indicated that the current Federal Guidelines were out of sync with current behaviors. Fact is, Non-production CP has had tons of research churned out over the last 10 years. Non-production was, and may still be, the plurality of SO charges in Federal courts.

Everything, I have seen indicates extremely low recidivism overall, with the majority of new arrests being for new non-production CP charges. Switching to direct contact crimes is extraordinarly rare. Also indicates that recidivism rates drops every year, and the likelihood decreases with age. Over 40, with no previous arrests, who has been out of prison for 10+ years with no arrests…less likely to commit a direct contact crime than a murderer is to murder again. That means less than 2% of people like this will commit a direct contact crime.

If that person is female, it’s hard to say because it is so rare that no number is meaningful. 1-500ish, but that 1 person could be an anomaly. No reason to think that every cohort of 500 women like this will have 1. Oh and when these women get into their 50’s…more like 1-1,000ish…but also the one is not necessarily representative of the whole.

Women PFRs…always about half the recidivism rate.

I don’t condone CP, but saying that possessing it, distributing it, or downloading it will lead a person to commit an actual sex crime against a child is utterly stupid. I’ve viewed plenty of adult porn in my life, and never once have I ever even thought about raping a woman.
Its like saying marijuana is just a doorway to harder drugs. I’ve smoked plenty of weed back in the day (I don’t any more), and never once have I tried anything else.
If you want my opinion, all these child “modeling” sites that you can find linked on other porn sites need to be shut down as well. I don’t think its appropriate for a young girl who’s barely 7 or 8 years old to be posing in her underwear in a sexually explicit manner. Let a young girl build a career in modeling, but put some clothes on her and keep her legs closed for Pete’s sake.

THE REASON WE SHOULDN’T COMPARE PAEDOPHILES TO OTHER CRIMINALS Because first they need to educate themselves on what the clinical definition really means?

Last edited 1 month ago by Entenmanns