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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 October 2007, 16:18 GMT 17:18 UK
Mother's battle against internet porn
By Thelma Etim
BBC News, Berkshire

Liz Longhurst
Mrs Longhurst says she wants to protect both men and women
She was forced to endure every mother's nightmare.

Six weeks after her daughter Jane, 31, had gone missing from her home in Sussex, Liz Longhurst was told her body had been found.

She had been murdered by Graham Coutts, a musician who was obsessed with extreme internet porn.

Yet out of the tragedy, Mrs Longhurst found the strength to embark on a campaign that looks set now to reach a successful conclusion - and may even prevent other women from suffering similar horrific fates.

MPs have voted to make the possession of sexual violence punishable by up to three years in jail.

The bill still has several more stages to negotiate before it becomes law - but Mrs Longhurst is comforted with its progress.

But she asks: "Why do such internet sites have to show women being raped and murdered?

Graham Coutts
Coutts was obsessed with violent porn sites

"Sometimes the freedoms of like-minded, decent people have to be curtailed because of a few others.

"I believe a lot of women who have been trafficked [transported from one country to another to be exploited in the sex industry] are forced to be on these sites.

"But I know some would argue women choose to do this.

"You have to pay for these sites, you are feeding the manipulators.

"I want to protect women, but the bill will also protect the men who might be susceptible like Graham Coutts.

"People can look at these sites at any time and an awful lot have been damaged by them."

Coutts, 39, from Hove, may well have fallen into this category. The Old Bailey had been told he had a "long-standing and perverted interest" in the strangling to death of women.

In fact, the prosecution in the trial insisted Coutts had been looking at "horrific" pornographic images the day before music teacher Ms Longhurst was killed.

He was found guilty of strangling his victim with a pair of tights before keeping the body in storage so he could visit it for a sexual thrill.

Coutts eventually removed the corpse and took it to the countryside, where he set fire to it.

Jane Longhurst
Jane Longhurst was a special needs teacher and musician in Brighton

But the discovery of the body on Wiggonholt Common, near Pulborough, West Sussex, on 19 April, 2003 brought some sort of release for Ms Longhurst's tortured mother.

She said: "It was a relief finally knowing what had happened to her.

"In the first few weeks after Jane's death, I did not know whether I was coming or going."

Mrs Longhurst was 40 when Jane was born six-and-a-half weeks premature, weighing under five pounds.

"Bill [her husband who died seven years ago] was so proud of her," she added.

"She was an easy child with a natural smile."

A talented musician, Ms Longhurst excelled at any instruments she learnt to play, gaining distinctions in her exams for the violin, the piano and the viola.

She attended the Guildhall School of Music for her post-graduate course before going on to teach pupils at Uplands Special School in Hollingdean, Brighton.

"Jane did not believe in God but she asked me to pray for children in her class she was particularly concerned about," added Mrs Longhurst.

"She was a terrific musician but also a remarkable person who was very sensitive to other people's feelings.

"I just feel Jane did live a very good life.

"I like to think of her as a beautiful spirit which cannot grow anymore."



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