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Kenyon Confronts Saturday, 25 January, 2003, 20:53 GMT
Paedophiles exploit child protection loopholes
Children in silhouette
Sex offenders can avoid detection
Convicted paedophiles can still work with children because of flaws in the UK's child protection laws, a BBC investigation reveals.

The UK's Sex Offenders Register is meant to protect children from convicted paedophiles.

But some offenders slip through the net because they are either self-employed, committed offences abroad, have changed their identities or have not been registered in the first place.

Former maths teacher Keith Hudson has a conviction for importing photographs of boys in sexual poses.

You've shown the loopholes in the law - it doesn't work

Former child protection officer
He has been placed on the Sex Offenders Register and can no longer teach in schools.

But the law does not prevent him, or other offenders, from setting up as a self-employed private tutor.

Unsupervised

BBC One's Kenyon Confronts reporter Paul Kenyon found Hudson was advertising as a private tutor in a local directory in East Sussex.

As part of the investigation Kenyon posed as a parent looking for private tutition for his fictitious young boy.

Keith Hudson
Hudson offered unsupervised tuition
He visited Hudson who offered to teach the boy one-to-one, despite the fact he should not be left unsupervised with children.

Hudson did not once mention his previous convictions during the interview.

He continues to teach despite the fact the local education authority asked head teachers to write letters to all parents with school age children in the county, advising that Hudson was unsuitable as a tutor.

Since Kenyon's investigation the education department has issued another warning letter about Hudson to parents.

Terrence Grange, the Association for Chief Police Officers' (ACPO) spokesman on sex offenders, said this was an easy way for paedophiles to exploit the law.

He said: "It's not just teaching English and history, you've got music tuition and coaching children in all sorts of sporting endeavours."

Foreign offenders

Other loopholes revealed by the investigation allowed a former scout master, who was convicted of molesting four boys in Australia, to come to the UK and immediately get a job teaching in a school.

The programme reporter Paul Kenyon
Kenyon passed on all evidence to the authorities
He was recruited because foreign offences are not automatically registered in the UK, and a school check would have found he did not have a criminal record.

The man, who cannot be named, continued to teach at the school until another boy in Australia complained he had been molested by him.

Because of the new complaint the UK police caught up with him, and as a result he was forced to leave his job at the school.

However, Paul Kenyon found the man had got another job working as a children's event organiser for a major charity.

The charity had no idea about his background.

After the programme's revelations he is no longer employed by the charity.

ACPO spokesman Terrence Grange said: "You've demonstrated it's possible to come...from anywhere else in the world with a long history of child sex offences...and not tell anyone.

"You can come into the country and set up as anything you wish and there will be no record."

Police called

Another man, Anthony White, was jailed for sexually abusing three young children, including a girl of just seven years old.

Anthony White
Police found a young boy in White's bed

After White's release, Kenyon discovered he was employing young boys to work with him on his Sunday market stall selling toys, sweets and fizzy drinks.

The Kenyon team then witnessed White take a boy back to his house alone.

The team immediately called the police who found the boy, fully dressed, in White's bed.

Despite this, the case was dropped and White is still working on the Sunday market stall and employing young boys.

Because he had been released from jail prior to 1997 he is not on the Sex Offenders Register and the same is true of Britain's most dangerous paedophiles.

Former child protection officer Dectective Inspector Mark Williams-Thomas said: "I think you've totally and utterly blown it apart...the sex offenders act does not do what members of the public expect it to do.

"You've shown the loopholes in the law. It doesn't work."


Kenyon Confronts: Open to Abuse was broadcast on BBC One on Wednesday, 29 January, 2003 at 1930 GMT.
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25 Jan 03 | Kenyon Confronts
27 Dec 02 | Scotland
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