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Paedophile petition gathering momentum
POLICE commissioners nationwide have been urged to join the campaign to stop a paedophile getting back pictures of his victim.
Dorset’s PCC, Martyn Underhill has written to all the commissioners asking them to support legal and political moves.
And he is also asking MPs to sign a government e-petition launched on the issue.
As the Daily Echo reported last week, the paedophile was jailed for nine years in December for abusing his young stepdaughter.
Now he has formally asked for his laptop and mobile phone to be returned to him when he completes the custodial part of his sentences.
Both devices have family pictures on them – including images of the victim and her sister.
They are not indecent photographs, but neither the girls nor their mother want him to have access to them.
But Dorset police say, under current law, the paedophile must have his property returned intact because the devices and contents did not form part of the case against him.
Both Mr Underhill and Bournemouth East MP Tobias Ellwood have taken up the case.
Mr Underhill said: “This is not a quick win. It’s a matter of exploring a number of avenues, both politically and legally, to get this matter resolved – not just for this family but for others too.
“It is totally unacceptable and wholly outrageous that any victim and their family should be put in this situation.”
He added: “A number of other police commissioners have already come on board which is excellent news.”
Merseyside’s PCC, Jane Kennedy said: “This loophole in the law gives those people convicted of these depraved crimes further control and power over those they have abused.
“Victims should always be our priority.
“They must be at the heart of the criminal justice system and that’s why I have added my name to Martyn Underhill’s e-petition.”
Issue taken up by MP
MP Tobias Ellwood has already taken the issue up with the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve, who has asked for a full report on the Dorset case.
Meanwhile, a civil rights group, Liberty, has indicated that it will take the matter to the High Court.
To sign the e-petition go to epetitions.direct.gov.uk/ petitions63590.
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