14 March 2023

Sex offenders should not be able to remove names from register, says victim

14 March 2023

A survivor of child abuse who has launched a petition to stop abusers being removed from the sex offenders register has said Gary Glitter’s recall to prison “proves that paedophiles cannot be rehabilitated”.

Laura Stewart, from Bournemouth, Dorset, was abused as a child and her attacker served 17 months in prison after being convicted of six counts of sexual assault.

He has since been removed from the sex offenders register.

Now Ms Stewart has launched a petition on the Parliament website calling for the right to apply to be removed from the register after 15 years be cancelled.

The 39-year-old says that the case of Gary Glitter shows that sex offenders cannot be rehabilitated.

The 78-year-old, who had a string of chart hits in the 1970s, had been freed in February after being jailed in 2015 for sexually abusing three schoolgirls.

He was automatically released from HMP The Verne – a low-security, category C jail in Portland, Dorset – following eight years behind bars, having served half of his 16-year, fixed-term, determinate sentence.

But he has this week been recalled to prison after breaching his licence.

He has proven a point that you can’t rehabilitate sex offenders, it’s in their make-up, it’s who they are. But they are a danger to children and it’s a case proven with Gary Glitter

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has not given details of the breach, but The Sun reported he was caught trying to access the dark web.

Footage last week showed the disgraced glam rock singer staring at a mobile phone while reportedly in his bail hostel.

Glitter, whose real name is Paul Gadd, had been subject to licence conditions in the community, including being closely monitored by the police and Probation Service and fitted with a GPS tag.

Ms Stewart told PA Media: “He has proven a point that you can’t rehabilitate sex offenders, it’s in their make-up, it’s who they are.

“But they are a danger to children and it’s a case proven with Gary Glitter. He has gone out and he has been recalled straight back to prison.

“It’s vile and it threatens the safety of children.”

Ms Stewart added that she felt the removal of sex offenders such as her abuser from the register was a “kick in the face” for victims.

She said: “It makes me going through the whole process of going through the court process, it was just a farce, it was just lip service from the justice system.

“He (her abuser) went away for 17 months, rent free, he came out, he is afforded anonymity wherever he goes and he is no longer on the sex offenders’ register so he is no longer managed.”

Since 2012, individuals who are subject to indefinite notification requirements can apply for a police review of the requirement after 15 years and eight years for a juvenile.

Ms Stewart added: “It is my belief that paedophiles cannot be rehabilitated and we must do better to protect our children.

“I’m hoping to lobby the Government to overturn this ruling which has been in force since 2012 after two sex offenders told the European Court of Human Rights that an indefinite listing on the sex offenders register infringed on their human rights.

“Meanwhile, child abuse victims and victims of sexual assault and abuse have a life sentence of trauma and adverse life outcomes as a result.”

The petition, which as gained more than 2,600 signatures, can be found at: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/632806

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