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UK to crackdown on possessing violent porn

Written by: Staff
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LONDON, Aug 31 (Reuters) Britain is to make possession of extreme and violent pornography a criminal offence punishable by up to three years in jail.

Home Office minister Vernon Coaker said yesterday the government planned to make it an offence to own images featuring scenes of extreme sexual violence, following a year-long consultation on the issue.

The action is a victory for the family of Jane Longhurst, a 31-year-old Brighton teacher murdered in 2003 by a man obsessed with viewing necrophilia Web sites, who have campaigned to block access to such material in the UK.

''My daughter Sue and myself are very pleased that after 30 months of intensive campaigning we have persuaded the government to take action against these horrific Internet sites, which can have such a corrupting influence and glorify extreme sexual violence,'' Longhurst's mother Liz told the BBC.

She helped organise a petition with 50,000 signatures objecting to extreme Web sites which was presented to parliament and won the backing of a number of MPs.

The new law would outlaw any material that featured violence that was, or appeared to be, life-threatening or likely to result in serious and disabling injury.

Although it is already illegal to distribute or publish such images in Britain under the Obscene Publications Act, the material has become increasingly available via the Internet.

''The vast majority of people find these forms of violent and extreme pornography deeply abhorrent,'' Coaker said.

''Such material has no place in our society but the advent of the Internet has meant that this material is more easily available and means existing controls are being by-passed -- we must move to tackle this.'' Reuters SRS VP0435

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