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January 13, 2006

Comments

Gavin Ayling

You missed "by" and said "head" instead of "neck". Otherwise I agree.

Some may think that comment is harsh but if a child is damaged by what he has done he is complicit IMHO.

Colm

Shgouldn't it be bloody automatic that someone on the sex offenders register be barred form working with children - no exceptions.

Also one mimister made the ridiculous comment that it wasn't so serious as the man involved was not a proper teacher , just a PE teacher! - Unbelievable. Don't you think that PE is the LAST subject a parent would want such an individual teaching their children.

"Alice"

I always thought that anyone with even a hint of being a sex offender should be off limits in all aspects of a school setting, be it a teacher or a janitor, or anyone inbetween.

And having that minister making that ridiculous comment that it wasn't serious because Reeve wasn't a "proper" teacher, but a PE teacher is like saying that it's alright for someone who is a dabbler in narcotics working at a pharmacy behind the drug counter, because he isn't a "real" medical doctor.

Jo

Was anyone able to find out please if it was actually known that those appointed to schools were known to be sex offenders when they were appointed, or whether it was only discovered that they were, following appointment?

Hereward

I am uneasy with the fact that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute, yet he was placed on a register. This is not the innocent until proven guilty basis of our legal system. It is guilt by accusation a feature of authoritarian states.

Colm

Hereward

You get placed on the register if you are cautioned. You only accept a caution if you admit the offence. This is not a case of guilt by association.

Steve

So if the crime is bad enough to get you placed on the register, why is it not bad enough to get you prosecuted?

Andrew McCann

Steve

Pitfalls in our legal system, I guess.

Allan@Aberdeen

There needs to be some care taken on this one. From what I've been reading, the teacher made a payment to a porn site where, amongst other matter, paedophilic material was available - did he know that such material was on that site? There was no paedoplilia down-loaded to his computer which further points to naivety but not necessarily innocence and certainly not guilt.
If the government starts using viewing of dubious web sites as a test of suitability for presence at schools, half of the pupils would be banned. Moreover, what about other sites which the government would find unacceptable. If I were given a once-over by the police for some minor infraction, it would be found that I had made a donation to 'an extremist far-Right website' (this one - said by the dhimmi judge in tones of horror and dread!) and that would be considered to be a greater offence than any viewing of a porn site.

James Hellyer

I'm afraid I tend to agree with Allan. The only thing that actually indicates guilt in this case is that Reeve accepted a police caution, but then this is one of those areas where "mud sticks" and even if you are innocent it might be tempting to accept the caution an avoid the attendant publicity of a trial.

Furthermore, I'd say that there's a world of difference between looking at something and doing something. Looking at pornography does make a man into a rapist.

Colm

Allan raises some good points.

I think (and I certainly hope) we would all agree that anyone who demonstrates a knowing active interest in pursuing child porn would automatically be prosecuted and if convicted not permitted to work with children. However what happens if someone genuinely erroneously accesses child porn which has been mistakenly titled, often deliberately so. I believe the law does not accept ignorance as a defence. Posession is the offence however ignorant you were of what ou were accessing.

In most cases it is clear that someone is guilty, but we must be prepared amidst our natural horror at this business to genuinely see innocence in some people who have been found with this material.

ed

Hi. Hadn't picked up on this until I was at DJ's place. I found this article at the Times very interesting on the subject. A key issue to me was this one:

"The use of so many cautions in suspected cases of possible paedophilia is odd and is one of the reasons why sex offenders are being allowed to teach.

“Why in the hell are we cautioning people for sex offences?” said Alisdair Gillespie, a reader in law at De Montfort University, Leicester. “It’s absolutely ludicrous that we are cautioning people who are found to have accessed child pornography.”

The answer, he believes, is that the police are trying to have their cake and eat it. A caution is supposed to be used where evidence exists for a full prosecution, but mitigating circumstances mean that taking the case to court would not be in the public interest. However, many believe the police use cautions to punish offenders in cases where they do not have the evidence to put before a judge and jury.

“There have been suspicions that people are being pressurised to accept cautions who might not have been convicted if they had gone to trial. That may have been a factor in this case,” said Gillespie."

I think anyone found guilty of real sex offences should never be allowed to teach- it's the police's own self-created 'grey area' which has created the problem in this case. The Govt has been itching to have summary justice and do away with days in court- this case is the kind of thing that leads to.

James Hellyer

It's easy to see why people might accept a caution rather than fight to prove their innocence. As in rape cases, mud sticks and even those cleared by a court are stigmatised.

By contrast, a police caution does not give rise to a criminal record and is removed from the police database after five years.

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