Page last updated at 22:03 GMT, Monday, 26 January 2009

Mother's violent porn ban now law

Jane Longhurst
Graham Coutts strangled Jane Longhurst with a pair of tights

A law banning violent online porn has come into force following a campaign by a mother whose daughter was murdered.

The legislative change comes after Graham Coutts, 39, of Hove, Sussex, was jailed in 2003 for strangling Jane Longhurst for his sexual gratification.

Her mother Liz, from Berkshire, was backed by Reading MP Martin Salter.

The ban became part of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill last May and anyone caught with sexually violent images faces up to three years in jail.

Mrs Longhurst said her daughter, who was 31 when she was killed, would be "glad" about the law.

Under the new rules, criminal responsibility shifts from the producer - who is responsible under the 1959 Obscene Publications Act (OPA) - to the consumer.

Mrs Longhurst, from Reading, told BBC News: "Hardly a moment goes by when I don't think of Jane.

"I think she would be glad such a law is now in force.

"And, I think she would be quite pleased at how I have been able to move on."

Liz Longhurst, Jane Longhurst's mother
Liz Longhurst campaigned for three years
Mr Salter said: "When people are allowed to download images of death, murder and mutilation it helps normalise fantasies - another step is then acting it out in the case of Jane Longhurst.

"The internet has driven a coach and horses between the OPA.

"We are really targeting the most extreme end of the market, where young women are raped and killed live on camera.

"The new law sends a clear signal to people that this material is not acceptable and will make them think again."

Under the new law, pornographic material which depicts necrophilia, bestiality or violence which is life threatening or likely to result in serious injury to the anus, breasts or genitals is outlawed.

Clair Lewis, from Consenting Adult Action Network (CAAN), which is opposed to the new law, said: "These kind of images are already illegal to own.

"This law is aimed at consenting adults and an awful lot of what this will cover will be fantasy images of consenting adults.

"In practical terms it will achieve nothing, and, because people will not stop engaging in less ordinary sexual practices, is likely to lead to more injury, more death, as safety advice is withdrawn from the net."



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