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Judge tells teacher sex offender: 'I don't criticise you for being attracted to children'

(69 Posts)
Feenie Sat 30-Jul-11 12:07:21

Here

Where do they get these people???

“I don't criticise you for being a teacher who's attracted to children. Many teachers are but they keep their urges under control both when it comes to children and when it comes to images of children."

Wtf? angry

Blu Sat 30-Jul-11 12:14:01

There was no need to have made those comments - whihc in any case are presumably speculative - how does she know there are teachers whjo are attracted to children but do not act?

However, personally I wouldn't get too outraged about the general sentiment.

We can't police what goes on in people's heads, we can't know (can we?) whether people can choose to be attracted or not attracted to children or any other 'strictly off-limits' attratcion, so criticising the attraction or compulsion per se seems irrelevant.

It is any action that we can and should criticiese, and it is for the action of downloading and viewing images that this teacher has been convicted of. Quite rightly.

I would guess that there are people who are aware that they have inappropriate responses to children, but know that it would be totally wrong to act on that attraction and so control thier desire or interest or compulsion or whatever it is.

WinkyWinkola Sat 30-Jul-11 12:24:01

I would have hoped for i. a more serious sentence for downloading such strong images and ii. that the judge would not come out with such ludicrous statements.

It's unacceptable to be sexually attracted to children. And if it's established that they are, then they should be criticised to the maximum, teacher or not.

Creepy judge. She's let off paedophiles before with a slap on the wrist.

YummyHoney Sat 30-Jul-11 19:38:02

Outrageous! Judges should have to pass a "Join the Real World Test" every year, in order to keep their jobs. Disgusting and happens far too often. angry

lifechanger Sat 30-Jul-11 19:53:13

What do you mean, it's unacceptable to be sexually attracted to children?

Many people are oftenin that situation because of their own abuse as a child but it doesn't mean they do anything about it, not unless they are bad/weak/criminal.

I doubt many people CHOOSE to be sexually attracted to children; I imagine for good people it is a terrible cross to bear. The choice - and rightfully, the crime - comes when the attraction is actioned in some way, be it downloading child porn or actual abuse of a child.

You could argue that someone who knows they are attracted to children should avoid a career in teaching - I would agree totally with you there.

edam Sat 30-Jul-11 20:01:19

Judge is clearly a. thick and b. dangerous. Winky's right, she's let paedophiles off with minimal sentences before. And Blu's right that the remarks were completely unnecessary anyway. The judge chose to make these remarks when they weren't in any way prompted or called for. Which raises lots of disturbing questions about her beliefs and her approach and how that might be influencing her work.

WinkyWinkola Sat 30-Jul-11 23:25:01

Whether people have been abused or not, it is unacceptable to be sexually attracted to children. Even if they never act on it. Obviously they cannot be prosecuted for having twisted thoughts about children and nor should they be. But it's unacceptable.

If a friend told you he or she were attracted to children but had dine nothing to act on it, you would still find it unacceptable that they were near your children, wouldn't you? You wouldn't discuss fancying children instead of the chap on the bus, would you? No because it's unacceptable to want to have sex with children, even in your mind.

Xenia Sun 31-Jul-11 12:36:23

I think she was taken out of context.

I do not agree with a statement that you are wrong to have an innate sexuality though. It is a key key issue and worth debate.

Plenty of people are born gay and none of us would say it is unacceptable to be sexually attracted to other men if you're a man. If the law prohibited gay sex then we would sayfine to have that sexuality God or genes bestowed on you but don't exercise that sexuality. I would view sexual interest in children as exactly the same. Do we really think those people sexually attracted to children choose to have that? It is not their fault at all. However they have to control that and not act on it and if they do then society and the law steps in.

We do not render illegal in this country thought whether that is you are sitting there wishing your mother were dead or the Queen or what you'd like to do to your cat in bed on a hot summer night. Thankfully the state does not rule our thoughts.

DilysPrice Sun 31-Jul-11 12:39:20

I'm with Xenia. Many of us may have unacceptable or illegal fantasies - it is a judge's job to punish actions not thoughts.

edam Sun 31-Jul-11 12:45:13

Xenia - she didn't just have those private thoughts, she chose to state them. In a criminal court while sentencing a paedophile. It is right and proper to criticise her for that - in fact it would be extremely dangerous to let her comments pass without criticism.

You are deeply offensive when you try to link paedophilia to homosexuality - that's the sort of abhorrent prejudice that has been used by homophobes for generations to discriminate against gay people. Particularly by the Catholic Church, horrifyingly enough. 'Ooh, we need an exemption from the law so we can stop children being adopted by gay people because they might abuse them' - from an institution that has abused and colluded in the abuse of thousands of children, and then threatened the victims and protected the abusers, FFS.

I don't know whether paedophilia is an innate sexual orientation. Don't know if enough research has been carried out to establish whether that is the case or not. But it is certainly a perversion that puts vulnerable people in danger so even if that were the case, it cannot be considered a valid sexual preference in the same way as heterosexuality or homosexuality.

edam Sun 31-Jul-11 12:46:21

Dilys - that's what the judge was asked to do. To sentence him for his actions. Which rather begs the question, why the hell did she choose to bring thoughts into it?

WinkyWinkola Sun 31-Jul-11 13:02:19

Obviously, people have inappropriate thoughts. Most recognise they are inappropriate and unacceptable. It's nothing to do with whether they can help it or not. The fact is that most recognise they are unacceptable and do not act on it because they are responsive to social mores. Personally, I find it hard to sympathise with those who want to f*ck children though and fantasise about it, even if they don't act on it.

This particular chap did act on with with many many child porn images on his computer. And the judge's "not blaming him" because many teachers are attracted to children is bizarre to say the least.

Absolutely nothing to do with thought police.

It's funny how tangents pop off here and there, isn't it?

Feenie Sun 31-Jul-11 13:38:09

Bloody hell, Xenia - I'm with edam, your comparison of gay people and paedophiles is deeply offensive. shock

Xenia Sun 31-Jul-11 14:39:30

It's no wrong. I am saying some people naturally are attracted to children which is very sad for them.

mrz Sun 31-Jul-11 14:53:07

Even sadder for the child if they act on that attraction.

Xenia Sun 31-Jul-11 16:01:43

They certainly shouldn't act on it. I am sure we can all imagine ourselves being born with desires for bad things.

I think it is very wrong though for people to say the fact a person is born a certain way makes that person wrong. It is only if they act on those wrong impulses which damage others that it's bad. Adultery causes less damage but huge numbers of men and women hurt their partners every day because they cannot keep their knickers/trousers up and have to play away. Sex is certainly not always a force for good on this planet.

Imagine how awful it must feel to be born with urges to have sex with chidlren (men and women both suffer from this). The UK has a " string em up " mentality about this at present and of course as none of us like to see young children hurt you can understand that but that does not mean that is legally or morally wrong to think about particular things.

We are v ery very lucky to live in a country where you can think what you like and I hope we will all fight for that even if we don't like some of the thoughts of others. It is a very very important issue.

edam Sun 31-Jul-11 16:09:29

xenia, this man was being sentenced for his actions not his thoughts.

I've no idea what causes paedophilia, whether it is something people are born with or not. But it's besides the point - thoughts aren't a crime, action can be.

mrz Sun 31-Jul-11 16:51:59

I believe once a person steps over the line between private thoughts to public actions the law is clear and the judge's words were inappropriate and unnecessary

WinkyWinkola Sun 31-Jul-11 17:20:17

Nobody knows if people are born paedophiles. There is no evidence either way.

Very noble to fight defend people's right to thoughts. But nothing really to do with the issue in this article.

Xenia Sun 31-Jul-11 19:56:10

I certanily agree that actions are what counts - in life and with everything. I just don't think we should punish people only for thoughts as we an think what we like even if the next person hates the thoughts which might be that women should be one of 3 wives or killed at birth or whatever the awful thoughts might be.

What I am saying is really what the judge meant and she was also taken out of context and also she had full facts and we just have what newspapers like to represent in these sorts of cases.

The issue of images in all kinds of areas including child porn is one that in cases of real images those are usually made in a way that damages children. If they do not then I wiould not punish them. if someone wants to downloade a medical textbook of babies being born adn masturbate to that I would not criminalise it just as I would not criminalise someone who chooses to draw himself having sex with a goat. If a child (or I suppose a goat if we believe in animal's rights) however were involved or hurt then absolutely that's where we draw the line.

Given lots of people do feel born with their sexuality I suspect for many they are born with it and it can't be an easy burden to carry and perhaps we need to find ways to check who might have those inclinations early one.

in fact would mumsnetters like to know in pregnancy if they are carrying a child with a child porn gene if one exists and would they then abort that child? There certainly seem to be some interesting links to homosexuality and things like birth order, exposure in the womb to certain hormones and perhaps genetics. It is all very fascinating but i we do not seem to spend much working out what causes these things and how to stop them. Sacha baron cohen's work on genetics and Autism is anotehr interesting issue too.

YummyHoney Sun 31-Jul-11 21:41:10

Xenia I think you are bang out of order making that comparison with gays.

It is NOT ok to be sexually attracted to children because children do not want to be sexually attractive!

So it's no good saying they should not act on it; they should not have those feelings. angry and sad for children who are abused by these sick bastards.

Feenie Sun 31-Jul-11 21:49:19

And I think you mean Simon Baron Cohen, Xenia, not Ali G grin.

WinkyWinkola Sun 31-Jul-11 22:23:31

Such faith in that judge, Xenia. I cannot imagine in what context her words would have been appropriate. I cannot imagine any context.

And as for masturbating to pictures of babies in a medical text book, one cannot punish someone for that distinctly abnormal behaviour. However, that would only be the start. If you know anything about sex offenders including peadophiles, they almost always progress to further disturbing behaviour that is illegal.

Again, there is no conclusive evidence on the nature / nature wrt to paedophiles.

YummyHoney Sun 31-Jul-11 22:39:52

totally agree with Winky - there is no context, IMO.

Also agree with the rest of Winky's post - and I speak from experience.

There is never any justification for excusing paedophiles' thoughts or actions. They know their actions are abhorrent, unwelcome and painful, so if they are thinking about it they are evil.

lifechanger Sun 31-Jul-11 22:53:05

Yummy Honey, you are saying a dangerous thing there. If thoughts make you evil, and deeds make you evil, then where is the boundary? If you are considered evil for thinking bad things, then what is the motivation to the conscience to stop you doing bad things? You're labelled evil anyway.

I might think about murdering my selfish noisy neighbours as they howl drunkenly at 4am for the third morning running, but I wouldn't do it because I'm not evil.

Xenia, drawing images of sexual activity with children is a criminal offence, (rightly imo).

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