The Christian Institute

News Release

North Wales abusers would still be free

An analysis of the North Wales Child Abuse Inquiry report has shown that the age of homosexual consent offences played a key role in the conviction and jailing of male paedophiles who abused boys.

The Christian Institute’s new report Lost out of Care, shows that, of the 12 main homosexual abusers named in the Inquiry, seven were convicted using the age of consent offences (buggery and gross indecency) including Gary Cooke, one of the most dangerous. He, along with other abusers such as David Gillison and William Gerry, were all convicted of abusing boys aged 16 or over using the homosexual age of consent laws.

A Charter for Child Abuse

Simon Calvert, Solicitor and co-author of the new report, argues:

“Prosecutors in North Wales made heavy use of the age of consent offences because they are much easier to prosecute than other offences. Abusers are now in jail thanks to the age of consent offence. Much of the abuse happened when the homosexual age of consent was 21. Now it is 18 and the Government want it cut to 16. If it had been 16 during the period covered by the Waterhouse Inquiry I have no doubt that some of the abusers would still be at large in North Wales. The Government’s planned new Bill is a charter for child abuse.”

The House of Lords is soon to debate the Bill that lowers the age of homosexual consent to 16 and makes it legal for men to commit buggery on 16 year old girls. The proposed law will affect England, Scotland and Wales. In Northern Ireland the corresponding age will be lowered to 17.

“Significantly Corrupted and Damaged”

Co-author of the report and Director of the Institute, Colin Hart, said today:

“The Waterhouse inquiry report makes clear that many 16-18 year old boys were corrupted and sexually confused by the abuse they suffered. Many were so confused that they began homosexual experimentation.

“There may well be 16-year-old boys who want the legal right to be sexually active with men. There may even be 16-year-old girls, though it is unlikely, clamouring to be subjected to anal intercourse. But there is no way those individuals can have that freedom without putting at risk many children who could be the target of predatory abusers.

“There is much that the Government has done which will improve the administration and organisation of childcare. Plans for an overhaul of the adoption system, better follow up care, and more effective sexual offences register will make a real difference.

“But whilst we warmly welcome these measures they should not gloss over the fact that the automatic legal protection for young boys from predatory men is to be taken away.

“Pandering to gay rights campaigners must never be put before the need to protect our children from abuse.”

Abuse of Trust

The Government have proposed a new abuse of trust law. It aims to stop child care workers or teachers having sexual relationships with children they are responsible for. In a detailed analysis in the Institute?s new report, the legal small print reveals that many of the abusers in North Wales would be well outside of the scope of the new offence. Lost out of Care argues that the abuse of trust safeguards are far too weak.

The Lost out of Care report, published by research group The Christian Institute, calls for all the loopholes in the abuse of trust offence to be closed. It also calls for Parliament to make all sex between adults and children illegal. The report says it should be an offence for a person over 18 to have sexual relations with a person under 18.