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Last Updated: Monday, 15 August 2005, 11:01 GMT 12:01 UK
Crackdown due on violent web porn
Graham Coutts
Coutts was obsessed with violent porn sites
The government is set to announce a crackdown on brutal internet porn to block access to sites depicting rape, strangulation, torture and necrophilia.

Methods used to combat child porn are set to be drawn upon and police officers could be given greater powers.

A Home Office spokesman confirmed an announcement would be made "shortly", following international talks.

British sites carrying illegal sexually violent porn can be closed but images on foreign websites can be accessed.

Discussions on such websites have taken place between G8 countries and internet service providers.

If something is brought in I will feel that my daughter's death would not have been entirely in vain
Liz Longhurst

The move comes after Home Secretary Charles Clarke met the mother of 31-year-old teacher Jane Longhurst, from Brighton, who was murdered by Graham Coutts, a friend addicted to sexually violent internet porn.

Liz Longhurst, of Reading, Berkshire, was shocked such material was freely available and the new laws may make viewing such images from the UK could now be made an offence.

Mrs Longhurst has campaigned for new laws and welcomed reports of a government crackdown on such sites.

She told the BBC News website: "If it had not been for the publicity surrounding my daughter's horrendous death, and starting off the trust and the campaign, I think nothing much would have been done.

"If something is brought in I will feel that my daughter's death would not have been entirely in vain."

International co-operation

One of the problems to be tackled is the lack of an international agreement on what constitutes obscene porn, meaning foreign sites with such images can be accessed from the UK.

A Home Office spokesman said: "We are looking at ways in which the current law might be strengthened.

"We want to do all we can to block access to illegal sites."

Officials were in talks with internet firms and other people, he said.

UK sites publishing such material faced prosecution under the Obscene Publications Act, but effective action against overseas websites could "be achieved only through international co-operation", he added.

"We have made a lot of progress in relation to child pornography and we will look at how lessons can be learned from that."

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09 Feb 05 |  Berkshire
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04 Feb 04 |  Southern Counties

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