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Pete Townsend is on the Sex Offender's Register in the UK for 5 years!

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Bruce Lindfield, May 7, 2003.

  1. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    So Pete Townsend was officially cautioned today, by Police, for looking at a child porn website and although they agree that he didn't download anything and accept he was doing research for a book - he was still committing an offence apparently.

    So now he has to let the Police know where he is and can't leave the country without their permission and has the stigma of being included on the Sex Offenders Register - along with paedophiles, rapists etc.

    So - be careful what websites you access; even accidentally!! :(
  2. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    or at least be careful if you are in g.b. - here in the states we don't put on something like that until we're found guilty. at least, as of yet. that may change.
  3. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Technically he was found guilty...he admitted to looking at the website (and paying for it). In light of further evidence though it's pretty stupid that he now has this punishment. It seems like the judges would consider the media circus enough punishment.

    brad cook
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think the ruling was that he had actually committed an offence and there was no defence possible, as there was hard evidence, which wasn't denied by Townsend.

    I'm by no means a legal expert, but I do find it somewhat unfair, from a moral point of view - although I can see that technically he did something wrong; but surely we should be concentrating on child abusers and getting sites that portray child abuse - off the net?
  5. Paul A

    Paul A

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hertfordshire U.K!
    Pete was very,very stupid and naive for even looking at that site.
    It's like getting caught speeding at 180 mph because you are researching a book on Ferraris!
    You HAVE TO draw a line somewhere, had he informed the relevant authorities what he was intending to do, this mess might never have happened.
  6. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    there's always a defence possible, ;).

    seriously, though, i agree that lumping this kind of offence into the same bucket as much more serious and pernicious crimes is not really just. still, anything to do with kids and sex in the same sentence is going to illicit the most pernicious of righteous ire. check this out...


    that _was_ in the good ole', innocent until proven guilty u.s. of a. :rolleyes:
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Hmm ...yes :

    "a drug store technician viewed the images and decided they were "suspicious," according to a police report."

    I would be more suspicious about him/her! ;)
  8. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    yeah, reminds me of that new robin williams movie about the photo developer who starts stalking a family.
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Although this did ring true with something that was mentioned in discussions on the News programmes I have heard talking about this case, this afternoon.

    So they were saying how a lot of people who access the internet sites which portray 'child abuse' , assume that they are produced by some faceless company or organisation - whereas the Police were saying that in fact, most of the photographs were produced by the parents of the children involved, as some bizarre kind of "cottage industry"!! :(
  10. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    What qualifies as a "sex offence" can vary a lot from state to state. In some states anyone busted for skinnydipping or parking with their high school girlfriend gets put on the list.

    Most states have made the registry retoractive which has caused legal challenges. Basically the argument is that people who plea bargained for truly minor offences in the past might have insisted on trials if they could have known that they would branded a sex offender years later.
  11. Retroactive legislation is not just unfair, it's a specific abrogation of the Universal declaration of Human rights, which US and UK are signatory to. In Uk, this led to, in '98, I think, the Human Rights Act.

    Here's the relevant bit of article 11:
    <blockquote>(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed.<b> Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.</b></blockquote>

    This clause is incorporated almost word for word in the British act. I emphasised the relevant bit....
  12. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Yes, I heard this on the radio today too. I thought it was really not fair to put him on the sex offender's register.

    But, I think that fact that he actually paid for it by card was an important factor.
  13. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Well, technically he WASN'T found guilty, because he wasn't charged.

    This is a quote from the article in CNN..."The formal cautioning -- short of a criminal charge but an official warning that next time charges would almost certainly follow -- came after four months of investigation..."
  14. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    Who cares?

    The Who's band name is way to perfect.

    The Who? precisely...
  15. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    My bad. I just assumed that you'd have to be charged with something to make the sex offenders list.

    brad cook
  16. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    It's disturbing that he wasn't even convicted of anything (although, as others have pointed out, this may be the shape of things to come). At the same time, by paying to access the site, he did something incredibly stupid.
  17. Well, that's another issue. If the sex offenders list is a punishment, then it is a breach of every principle of law and justice in the book to put an unconvicted man's name there. If it isn't, then the list remains mere gossip, and can not be a basis for making any decsions such as whether or not to employ someone.

    The worrying side is the increasing tendency in the western 'democracies' for our rights and freedoms to be thrown out purely for reasons of administrative convenience. Certainly have a sex offenders register, and even a register of potential sex offenders. But it should not be the police who decides who goes on it but some kind of independent tribunal who make their decisions according to clear guidelines.
  18. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Andy, I couldn't agree more! In fact, the legislative groups in the US are passing more and more "mandatory sentencing" than ever before.

    We could start a whole (political:() thread on that issue alone!

    So, back to the issue of Peter Townshend...he was entered in the Sex Offenders Register and "cautioned"...I'm still trying to figure out what "cautioned" means! I definitely (notice the spelling)[/size=1] think it unfair that he be registered without even a hearing, let alone a conviction!
  19. Paul A

    Paul A

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hertfordshire U.K!
    Pete went on to a child porn site and PAID to do so.
    That is an offense here in the U.K.
    He's bloody lucky to have got away with just a caution and being put on the register.
    Maybe he was just stupid, I tend to think so,if it raises the profile of the problem of these sites all the better.
    Personally I think that the Credit Card companies should also be made liable for allowing payment to these pornographers!
  20. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Is that One Hour Photo you're thinking of? Not quite the kind of film I expected when some friends suggested a Robin Williams movie :meh: ... Disturbing and not light viewing, but also very well made and quite thought provoking.