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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 November 2005, 19:06 GMT
Anti-porn petition handed to MPs
Liz Longhurst joined by her supporters outside the House of Commons

The mother of a murdered teacher has handed in more than 50,000 signatures to the House of Commons calling on MPs to ban violent internet porn.

Liz Longhurst, 74, of Reading, Berkshire, said new laws would "represent a wonderful memorial" to her daughter, Jane, who was killed in 2003.

The 31-year-old music teacher from Brighton was murdered by her violent porn-obsessed friend, Graham Coutts.

Her mother has been campaigning ever since to ban violent internet images.

This petition shows the government just how many people really oppose this horrendous imagery
Liz Longhurst

Musician Coutts, who was convicted of strangling Miss Longhurst with a pair of tights in February 2004, was obsessed with looking at violent images involving women on the internet.

Distributing extreme pornography is illegal in the UK but material from abroad is still accessible through websites and it is not an offence to possess it.

Mrs Longhurst said she was hopeful that a new law would be introduced during the current Parliament.

"This petition shows the government just how many people really oppose this horrendous imagery," she said.

"I am very hopeful that there will be a change in the law, which will act as a memorial to Jane, who may still have been with us had her killer not been able to access these sickening Internet images, which fuelled his dangerous fantasies.

"This campaign has been excellent therapy for me. I feel I am perpetuating her memory. She was a wonderful person, very gifted, very witty, very loving, very kind and very loved."

'Strength of feeling'

The Home Office and Scottish Executive have been consulting on whether new laws are needed and what should be covered.

They have proposed making it an offence to download and possess violent and abusive porn.

Mrs Longhurst's MP, Martin Salter, added: "This campaign has taken a huge amount of time and effort but it has struck a chord right across the country and this massive petition demonstrates the strength of feeling behind our demand to clean up the internet.

"We are now pretty confident that the government is serious about bringing forward proposals to change the law to treat violent internet pornography in the same way as child pornography."

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