Prevent Violence Against Pedophiles

    September 2000

    "Name and Shame" Riots (United Kingdom)
    News

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Paedophile Protests. By Simon Jeffery, Jeevan Vasagar, and Julian Glover. [The Guardian]

    Sex Offenders Registry. By Jeevan Vasagar and Julian Glover. [The Guardian]

    News Articles

    SEPTEMBER 24, 2000

    Namers and Shamers Face Their Evictions with Pride. By Tracy McVeigh. 'We did it!' whooped Katrina Kessell to her friend. They had just heard that a 40-year-old neighbour in the Portsmouth housing estate of Paulsgrove had been asked to leave his job with a local taxi firm, sent on his way with a punch in the face from a fellow driver. [The Guardian]

    SEPTEMBER 21

    Concern Over Paedophile Action. Speakers from the floor were sympathetic both to the families of the victims of paedophiles and those who protested against them. [BBC]

    SEPTEMBER 16

    Straw Rules Out Sex Register Law. Parents will not be allowed access to the sex offenders' register a so-called Sarah's Law Home Secretary Jack Straw has ruled. Offender rehabilitation groups welcomed the decision, saying it would protect children and prevent child abusers from being driven underground. [BBC]

    SEPTEMBER 14

    New Rules After "Name and Shame" Campaign. By Matt Wells. The press complaints commission is to draw up new guidelines on the identification of criminals in the community following the controversial "name and shame" campaign by the News of the World. [The Guardian]

    SEPTEMBER 13

    Sarah's Law "Gets Minister's Backing". By Clare Dyer. The Home Office plans had been expected to stop short of a Sarah's law based on the US Megan's law, named for a schoolgirl killed by a paedophile in California in 1994 making the names and addresses of sex offenders public. The US law has been undermined by vigilante attacks. [The Guardian]

    SEPTEMBER 3

    Paedophile Campaign Blamed for Arson Attack. By Andrew Buncombe. Police believe an arson attack on a flat in Norwich, forcing an innocent family to flee unharmed, is linked to the News of the World's "naming and shaming" campaign against paedophiles. [The Independent]

    Paediatrician Attack: "People Don't Want No Paedophiles Here". By Richard Eden. When Yvette Cloete left her native South Africa and moved to this country to train as a consultant doctor, she thought she was leaving far behind her the high crime rates and intimidation of her homeland. [The Telegraph]

    SEPTEMBER 1

    Religious Press Remains Silent as Vigilante Violence Rocks Britain. International readers seeking religion news from Britain during July and August were treated to articles on recycling awards, bats in churches, and Harry Potter . . . but virtually no articles on the violence against sex offenders that raged throughout Britain for three weeks. [Philia]

    Methodist Representative Denounces "'Lynch-Mob' Tactics" Against Sex Offenders. A representative of the Methodist Church of Great Britain, which in June approved a report on the pastoral care of convicted sex offenders, has condemned the recent violence in Britain toward sex offenders. [Philia]

    AUGUST 30

    Paediatrician Attacks "Ignorant" Vandals. A hospital paediatrician has hit out at vandals who forced her to flee her home after apparently taking her job title to mean she was a paedophile. [BBC]

    Doctor Driven Out of Home by Vigilantes. By Rebecca Allison. Self-styled vigilantes attacked the home of a hospital paediatrician after apparently confusing her professional title with the word "paedophile", it emerged yesterday. [The Guardian]

    AUGUST 22

    Named, Shamed . . . and Suing. By Robert Verkaik. When the dust finally settles on the News of the World's paedophile "name and shame" campaign the victims of the vigilante gangs might want to spend some time with their lawyers. [The Independent]

    AUGUST 20

    Anti-Paedophile Vigil Ends Peacefully. A candlelit vigil held by anti-paedophile protesters on a Portsmouth housing estate has passed off without incident. [BBC]

    Members of Parliament to Call for Explanation from News of the World Editor. By Joe Murphy. The editor of the News of the World will be called before a House of Commons committee to defend her controversial policy of "naming and shaming" paedophiles. [The Telegraph]

    AUGUST 18

    Paedophiles Seek Refuge in Ireland. Irish police say they are "very concerned" about an increase in paedophiles who are entering the country to avoid vigilantes. [BBC]

    Clergy Condemn Portsmouth Disturbances. By Gareth Sturdy. Clergy serving on the Paulsgrove estate in Portsmouth have strongly condemned anti-paedophile protests by local people. [Church Times]

    AUGUST 16

    Child Sex Attack "Merits Vengeance". By Fiachra Gibbons. The feminist writer Andrea Dworkin last night entered the Sarah Payne debate by declaring that the victims of child sex abuse have the right to kill paedophiles. [The Guardian]

    Family Torn Apart After Vigilante Attack on Home. By Cahal Milmo. A family member said that the marriage between Lee Adams, a fireplace fitter, and his wife is over. The couple have vowed never to return. [The Independent]

    Revealed: Hated Targets of the Paulsgrove Mob. By Cahal Milmo. The names of 15 alleged paedophiles living on the Paulsgrove Estate in Portsmouth have been supplied to police and council officials after a fortnight of unrest. [The Independent]

    AUGUST 15

    Vigilantes Target Innocent People. A BBC debate on sex offenders has heard that at least 55 innocent people have been attacked by anti-paedophile protesters in the past few years. [BBC]

    Paedophile List Used to Settle Scores. By Jeevan Vasagar. Evidence emerged yesterday of how hearsay and score-settling played a role in the creation of a "paedophile" hit list used to justify nightly demonstrations on the Paulsgrove council estate in Portsmouth. [The Guardian]

    AUGUST 14

    Council to Act on "Sex Offenders" List. Council officials in Portsmouth have told anti-paedophile protesters from the Paulsgrove Estate that they will talk to everyone named on a list of suspected child sex offenders. [BBC]

    AUGUST 13

    Adults Teach Hatred as Sarah is Mourned. By Tracy McVeigh and Amelia Hill. Children are at the forefront of the current debate about paedophiles in our midst. On vigilante marches and in family homes, parents say they are protesting for the love of children. But are they teaching every child to hate? [The Guardian]

    The Women of the Paulsgrove Estate. By Audrey Gillan. Patsy says it has made her "kind of happy" to know about the perverts, but she giggles and says other kids have started going round asking men "Are you a perv?" In Paulsgrove, they don't wait for an answer. [The Guardian]

    Name and Shame Victims to Sue. By Sophie Goodchild and Jo Dillen. Innocent victims singled out by vigilante mobs in search of paedophiles to attack and harass are to begin legal proceedings against the News of the World. [The Independent]

    Anti-Paedophile Group is Linked to National Front. By David Bamber and Rajeev Syal. A far-right group with links to the National Front is organising demonstrations against suspected paedophiles. [The Telegraph]

    The Mob Rules, OK. By Jenny McCartney. Paedophiles now occupy the space once filled by the bogeyman, the witch and the devil. [The Telegraph]

    AUGUST 12

    Memorial Service for Murdered Sarah. Wellwishers gathered at Guildford Cathedral after Sarah's parents, Michael and Sara, insisted the service should be open to the public after the massive national reaction to the youngster's murder in West Sussex last month. [BBC]

    Fresh Protests as Sarah Payne's Parents Appeal for Calm. By Duncan Gardham. Sarah Payne told Channel 4 News: "What we say is, 'Don't be violent. Give us a chance to change the law.'" [The Guardian]

    Neo-Fascists Incite Trouble. By Stewart Tendler. Extremist right-wing groups have joined in the anti-paedophile campaign, naming two sex offenders through e-mail lists and offering hate merchandise via the Internet. [The Times]

    AUGUST 11

    Protests to Oust Sex Offenders Cause Concern. By Jill Lawless. The placards on the baby buggies at daily protests were unambiguous. "Kill the pedophiles," read one over the head of a chubby toddler. "Don't house them, hang them," said another. [The Associated Press]

    Paedophile Protest Estate Quiet. The mother of murdered schoolgirl Sarah Payne appealed for an end to violent anti-paedophile demonstrations. [BBC]

    Hang 'Em, Sings Child, 7, Holding a Doll. By Anthony Mitchell. At night, when most other children are in bed, she joins hundreds of anti-paedophile vigilantes who have wreaked havoc on the post-war estate where she lives. [The Express]

    Abuser Speaks Out Over Mob Fury. By Nick Hopkins. Vigilantes are driving offenders underground, warns a Portsmouth paedophile on a run for his life. [The Guardian]

    The Legacy of a Shaming Campaign. By Cahal Milmo. Seven nights of violent demonstrations which turned a community into a cauldron of hatred came to an end last night with a bittersweet victory for mob rule. [The Independent]

    Innocent Victim Tells of Weeks as Mob Target. By Cahal Milmo. Neither Mrs Legg, nor her husband, Gary, a 36-year-old builder, has ever been convicted of a sexual offence against a child. But the firebombed wreck of a car sits outside the house on the Paulsgrove estate in Portsmouth, and little boys and girls point fingers because their parents say there are "bad people" inside. [The Independent]

    Paedophiles Walk Free Because of NoW Exposure. By Ian Herbert. Two convicted paedophiles walked free from courts yesterday after their lawyers argued that they had already been punished by the impact of the News of the World's "name and shame" campaign. [The Independent]

    Paedophile Protests Suspended in Portsmouth. By Rachel Donnelly. On the Paulsgrove estate in Portsmouth yesterday, residents were demanding an end to the "witch hunt" that has seen five innocent families driven out of their homes by an angry mob that has accused them of harbouring paedophiles. [The Irish Times]

    Mother Hides Children from Mob Anger. By Nicole Martin. For the last two days, Julie Legge has locked herself inside her home on the Paulsgrove estate, closely guarding her three children. She says she is too frightened to use the bus or go to the local shops after a mob of 150 screaming vigilantes mistakenly identified her husband as a paedophile. [The Telegraph]

    Papers Quiet on Violence over Paedophiles. By Tom Leonard. News International newspapers rallied around the News of the World yesterday after violence sparked by its campaign to "name and shame" child sex offenders drew calls from a senior MP for it to be prosecuted. [The Telegraph]

    The Real Shame. By Tim Reid. As the marchers snake their way in and around the estate, shepherded by 30 police officers and followed by four riot vans, hundreds of residents stand on their doorsteps, or hang from their windows, and gawp in silence. One child carries a placard
    shaped like a coffin which reads "Get Out Or Get In". There is a lot of laughter. [The Times]

    Marches are Suspended as Fifth Family is Driven Out. By Tim Reid. The family was moved
    into temporary bed-and-breakfast accommodation by the city council after a seventh night of protests aimed at three more properties that the campaigners claimed were housing sex offenders. [The Times]

    Teenager was Terrified by Mob's Attack on Home. By Tim Reid. Their house was being looked
    after by her 18-year-old niece, Roma. As Roma sat cowering inside, a 150-strong mob shouted death threats from the front garden. [The Times]

    Innocent Kitchen Fitter is Named. By Elizabeth Judge. A kitchen fitter is living in fear after being wrongly named as a paedophile. [The Times]

    AUGUST 10

    Priest Calls for Forgiveness in Midst of Pedophile Riots. A Portsmouth, England, priest has appealed for calm after anti-pedophile protesters demonstrated for a seventh night on a housing estate in the town. [Catholic World News]

    Vigilantes Suspend Anti-Paedophile Campaign. Anti-paedophile protests on a Portsmouth housing estate were today suspended after a fifth family was driven out by the violence. [The Guardian]

    Vigilantes Defy Call to End Paedophile Protests. By Vikram Dodd. A senior Labour backbencher has demanded that the News of the World be prosecuted for inciting public disorder as a wave of mob violence continued after its decision to name convicted paedophiles. [The Guardian]

    Families Flee Estate Hate Campaign. By Keith Perry. Nearby a girl aged three held a sign as if she was supporting her local village fete. It read: "Kill paedophiles."
    [The Guardian]

    "It Just Doesn't Seem Real". By Vikram Dodd. The family of a millionaire who killed himself while under investigation for allegedly indecently assaulting two 15-year-old boys yesterday spoke of their grief. [The Guardian]

    "Don't Expect Us to Be Sorry". By David Ward. Neighbours of a grandfather who killed himself after he was targeted by a vigilante mob yesterday expressed little sympathy for him. [The Guardian]

    Mob Rule in Portsmouth: Police Offer Help to Those Indicted by Rumor. By Cahal Milmo. They were calling it their "list of power" on the Paulsgrove estate yesterday the roll-call of a witch hunt that has driven four innocent families from their homes and allowed a mob to be the arbiters of law and order. [The Independent]

    Estate Mob Bays for Paedophiles' Blood. By Nicole Martin. Jodi Calvert stood next to her four-year-old daughter, Shay, encouraging her to wave her placard bearing the slogan: "Kill the paedophiles." Beside her was Shay's seven-year-old friend Jimmy, who chanted: "Don't house them, hang them." [The Telegraph]

    Innocent Families Driven Out as Paedophile Protest Continues. By Nicole Martin. Screaming  anti-paedophile demonstrators stepped up their protests on the streets of Portsmouth last night, despite pleas from police and local officials to stay at home. [The Telegraph]

    AUGUST 9

    Can We Call This Justice. By Paul Gallagher and Tony Brooks. A child sex abuser killed himself after he was forced out of his home by a mob of screaming vigilantes. [The Express]

    Families Flee After Anti-Paedophile Mob Violence. Police today called for an end to mob violence against suspected sex offenders as four families in Portsmouth left their homes after a series of anti-paedophile riots. [The Guardian]

    Unashamed Lynch Law Simmers on a Rundown Estate. By Cahal Milmo. A bright green petrol canister stood in the hallway alongside a yellowing copy of the News Of The World and a piece of paper scribbled with names, addresses and the word "perverts". Welcome to Paulsgrove, home to Britain's nastiest and fastest-growing anti-paedophile lynch mob. [The Independent]

    Man Accused of Paedophile Offences Kills Himself after Vigilante Attack. By Ian Herbert. James White, aged 54, was named in a 100-word local newspaper report detailing his appearance before magistrates on seven charges of indecently assaulting young girls. Soon after, a mob of 70 men attacked his semi-detached council house in Oldham, Greater Manchester, and threatened to firebomb it. [The Independent]

    Persecuted Paedophile "Kills Himself". By Nigel Bunyan. A paedophile has apparently committed suicide days after his home was attacked by vigilantes allegedly spurred on by the News of the World campaign to name and shame child abusers. [The Telegraph]

    Child Sex Offender "Killed Himself for Family". By Paul Wilkinson and Richard Ford. A paedophile killed himself to protect his family after a mob stormed his home, his lawyer said yesterday. [The Times]

    AUGUST 8

    Fifth Night of "Paedophile" Protests. The protest began peacefully but ended with demonstrators hurling missiles at police. [BBC]

    "Paedophile" Protests Force Rehousing Offer. Council spokeswoman Karen Traviss said anyone who felt threatened would be offered the chance to move. [BBC]

    Vigilante Mob Forces Family Into Hiding. By Keith Perry. A family went into hiding last night after being driven from their home by a screaming 150-strong mob of vigilantes who smashed their windows with bricks. [The Guardian]

    AUGUST 7

    Britain Rules Out Public List of Sex Offenders. The British government promised tougher laws against paedophiles yesterday but said lists of offenders must remain under police control after a wave of vigilante attacks prompted by the News of the World "name and shame" campaign. [Reuters]

    AUGUST 6

    Before I was Caught I'd Been Offending Most of My Life. By Andrew Alderson. What to do with paedophiles? 'James Harris' says that if he had been named by the News of the World he would have had to move home, abandon his course of therapy and cut links with the police. He would then have been more likely to re-offend. [The Telegraph]

    AUGUST 5

    Police Condemn "Paedophile" Attacks. Police in Hampshire have appealed for calm after more violence outside the home of a suspected sex offender in Portsmouth. [BBC]

    I'm Just an Innocent Wife but I Suffered as Well. "I am scared stiff that my husband's photograph is going to be published in the News of the World," said Mrs X. "I would agree with it willingly if it just affected these paedophiles. But instead it will be their innocent families who suffer, as if we hadn't been through enough already. It makes us victims twice over." [The Express]

    Inside the Minds of Britain's Most Reviled. By Audrey Gillan. Three offenders insist that it is children who are put in danger when paedophiles are exposed. [The Guardian]

    Paper Relents Over Drive to Shame. By Audrey Gillan. The News of the World backed down on its campaign to name and shame paedophiles last night after condemnation from the police, the probation service and the Home Office. [The Guardian]

    Two Weeks of Mob Hysteria Come to a Vicious Climax. By Jason Bennetto, Cahal Milmo, and Terri Judd. For many of the protesters on the Paulsgrove housing estate in north Portsmouth, the violence was an acceptable deterrent to would-be sex abusers. "They should be burnt alive," said Mary House, 48. [The Independent]

    Paper Drops Paedophile Campaign. By Matt Born. The News of the World yesterday abandoned its campaign to "name and shame" paedophiles amid more criticism that it was to blame for increasing vigilante attacks. [The Telegraph]

    Sex Offender Goes Underground After Riot. By David Sapsted. Police  said last night that they no longer knew the whereabouts of one of Britain's most notorious paedophiles, who vanished shortly before a riot outside his flat on Thursday. [The Telegraph]

    Five Men Wrongly Named by Anti-Paedophile Group. By David Millward. A shadowy  anti-paedophile pressure group has been wrongly identifying sex offenders in hundreds of letters sent to its targets' neighbours. [The Telegraph]

    AUGUST 4

    Mob Violence at Home of "Paedophile". More than 70 police officers were called to a block of flats in Portsmouth as a crowd of 100 people besieged the home of an alleged sex offender. [BBC]

    Police Condemn Vigilante Violence. Police say a convicted paedophile has left the area after his home was badly damaged by a mob in Portsmouth. [BBC]

    Mob Moves in on Named "Abuser". By Paul Peachey. A policeman was injured last night after three men were targeted at their homes following the decision of the News of the World to name and shame convicted paedophiles. [The Guardian]

    Second Victim of Press Hounding. An RAC patrol driver has been given police protection after becoming the second man wrongly identified as a paedophile as a consequence of the News of the World's "name and shame" campaign. [The Guardian]

    News of the World Suspends Name-and-Shame Campaign. The newspaper's reversal comes after a string of vigilante attacks on men either named or mistakenly identified as those named by the campaign, and sustained criticism of the campaign by police and child protection groups. [The Guardian]

    Abuser Named by Paper Held After Going to Ground. By Kate Watson-Smyth. A convicted paedophile who went to ground after being identified in the News of the World's campaign to "name and shame" was yesterday arrested on Tenerife. [The Independent]

    Violence as Police Clear Mob Targetting Sex Offender. By Andrea Babbington. Police today dispersed a mob of up to 200 people who went on the rampage outside the home of a man who was "named and shamed" as a paedophile by a newspaper campaign. Windows were smashed at the flat, which is said to have been ransacked, and also at the Portsmouth City Council Housing Office. [The Independent]

    AUGUST 3

    Innocent Man Branded Child Abuser. Michael Horgan, 55, has been given police protection after letters branding him a child abuser were sent to 500 houses close to his home in south London. [BBC]

    "Name and Shame" Paedophile Held. Officers involved in the investigation said the newspaper's campaign to "name and shame" paedophiles in the wake of the murder of Sussex schoolgirl Sarah Payne had seriously jeopardised their operation. [BBC]

    News of the World "Finds Common Ground" with Critics. By Alan Travis. Among those who met senior newspaper executives were Tony Butler, the chief constable of Gloucestershire, chief probation officers, child welfare charities, and the relatives of murder victims. They had joined forces to halt the public "outing" of sex offenders, on the grounds that it drove them underground and created a climate for vigilante action. [The Guardian]

    AUGUST 2

    Exposed Child Sex Fugitive May Stay Free. By Mark Blacklock. Officers fear the 33-year-old could escape arrest after he was identified by the News of the World. [The Express]

    JULY 31

    Paper's Paedophile Campaign Attacked. Child protection and offenders' organisations will meet with senior News of the World executives on Tuesday to urge them to stop "naming and shaming" child sex offenders. [BBC]

    Probation Officers Warn News of the World as Paedophiles Go into Hiding. By Steven Morris. Probation chiefs are considering legal action against the News of the World if the newspaper does not halt its campaign to "name and shame" sex offenders. [The Guardian]

    Pressure to Halt "Name and Shame" Campaign. By Sandra Laville. Probation officers produced a dossier of evidence yesterday to show that children were being put at risk as a result of the campaign by the News of the World to "name  and shame" paedophiles. [The Telegraph]

    Pressure to Drop Child Sex Campaign. By James Landale and Richard Ford. Police and probation officers stepped up their calls for the newspaper to halt the campaign which
     they believe will drive sex offenders underground. [The Times]

    JULY 30

    Paedophiles "Driven into Hiding". The News of the World is facing more criticism over its continuing campaign to identify convicted paedophiles. [BBC]

    Pushing Paedophiles to the Edge. All over the UK convicted paedophiles, many of whom are undergoing treatment to restrain their urges, are poised to up sticks and go into hiding rather than face mobs of vigilantes, say probation service chiefs. [BBC]

    Scores of Paedophiles Forced into Hiding. By Martin Bright. Scores of Britain's most dangerous sex offenders have slipped police surveillance and gone underground through fear of vigilante attacks following a newspaper campaign to 'out' paedophiles. [The Guardian]

    New Attempt to End Paper's "Name and Shame" Campaign. By Andy Darley. Child protection groups and offenders' organisations are to meet with the News of the World this week in a bid to convince the paper to stop its controversial campaign to "name and shame" child sex offenders. [The Independent]

    Newpaper Campaign Drives Paedophiles into Hiding. By Andrea Babbington. Senior probation officials today warned that paedophiles are changing address, altering their appearance and breaking all contact with the probation service since a campaign to 'name and shame' them was launched. [The Independent]

    JULY 27

    Re-Think Plea over "Shame" Plan. Now a Scottish council official has added to the protests after a man was attacked at his home in Cumnock, East Ayrshire. [BBC]

    JULY 25

    Vigilante Attack on Innocent Man. An innocent man who was mistaken for one of the 49 paedophiles named and shamed in a national newspaper has told of his fear following an attack on his home. [BBC]

    Tabloid Sets Vigilante Terror on Innocent Man. By Vikram Dodd. A man told yesterday of his terror at being mistaken by vigilantes for one of the alleged paedophiles named and pictured by the News of the World, as Labour and Conservative frontbenchers joined in condemning the paper. [The Guardian]

    Mob Attacks Man Mistaken as Paedophile. By Steve Bird. An innocent man was attacked by a
    mob who mistook him for a paedophile named in a national newspaper campaign, it emerged yesterday. [The Times]

    JULY 24

    Police Say "Naming and Shaming" Paedophiles Puts Children at Risk. By Cahal Milmo. A chief constable accused a national newspaper last night of playing with children's lives by launching a campaign to "name and shame" every paedophile in Britain. [The Independent]

    Newspaper's Paedophile Exposé "Puts Children at Risk". By David Millward. A senior police officer condemned a Sunday newspaper's decision to identify 110,000 convicted paedophiles, saying that it could put children's lives at risk. [The Telegraph]

    JULY 23

    "Paedophiles" List Condemned. The News of the World has been criticised for publishing the names and details of "convicted paedophiles" in the wake of the murder of schoolgirl Sarah Payne. [BBC]

    Top Policeman Condemns Shame List. One of the UK's most senior police officers says children's lives could be put at risk by the News of the World's decision to "name and shame" thousands of convicted paedophiles. [BBC]

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    © 2000 Heather Elizabeth Peterson
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