Over the past two weeks, David Cameron has been feeling rather unwell, or “sick to my stomach” as he puts it. The source of his affliction has apparently been identified as a Court in Strasbourg, where it has been proposed that prisoners should be given the vote, and that those on the Sex Offenders Register might have the right to appeal.
Leaving aside voting rights for prisoners, which I am not at all sure about myself, the right to appeal needs looking into. At the moment anyone who commits any sexual offence is placed on the Register for life, regardless of circumstances.
The recent case in the South West is one example, and given what we know, it seems a reasonable outcome.
However, the following fictitious case would cause the same result:
A young woman of 18 years has sex at a party with a fifteen year old boy. The boys parents find out, and outraged, take the matter to the Police. Under due process of Law, the young woman is found guilty and serves a sentence. Upon leaving custody, she is now marked for life as a Sex Offender.
Now the right of appeal is not an automatic method of wiping names of the guilty off a list, but it would be compassionate, just, and ultimately wise if it was there to protect those who are unfairly bracketed with serial child abusers and child pornographers.
Not to Mr Cameron, nor his equally “sick” allies.