UK & World News
Anger As Paedophile Demands Victim Photos
A paedophile is allowed to have intimate photos of a young girl he abused because the police cannot erase them from his confiscated laptop before they return it to him.
The man was jailed for nine years in 2013 after admitting a number of sex offences including assaulting a child under the age of 13.
He has formally asked for a laptop and a mobile telephone to be handed back, according to human rights campaigner Liberty, which is representing the victim and her family.
Photos of the victim dressed in swimwear and leotards are on the computer, but Dorset Police say they cannot delete them because they are not legally classified as indecent or prohibited.
Consequently, the man, who is in his 50s and cannot be named for legal reasons, will still have access to a large number of personal photos of one girl when he is freed.
The victim's mother said: "I am appalled that the man who abused my child can ask the police to hand over our family photos for him to keep for the rest of his life.
"My daughters struggle every day with the devastating consequences of his abuse and this will only make them feel more humiliated and degraded. Why should we continue to be traumatised further?"
Liberty is arguing the return of the laptop and phone would breach articles three and eight of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protect against inhuman treatment and invasion of privacy respectively.
In a letter to Dorset Police, the human rights group said the prospect of having the photos returned to the abuser would cause "a significant amount of distress".
The group warns it would be a "an enormous violation" of dignity and personal integrity if the pictures were handed back.
The abuse of the young girl had caused the victim to suffer "enormous psychological harm" and she eats very little, self-harms frequently and is at risk of suicide.
Rosie Brighouse, legal officer at Liberty, said: "Not until the Human Rights Act could victims assert their rights in the British Courts - and Liberty is more than ready to do that on behalf of this family."
In response, Dorset Police said its "present options" were limited as the legislation used to seize the phone and computer required officers to give the owner back his property.
"Furthermore, it would be unlawful for police officers to alter the computer and phone's memories by removing the disputed photographs before returning them," the force added.