Lifelike child sex doll case watershed in UK
LONDON: A British man was convicted yesterday of importing a lifelike child sex doll in what police said was a landmark case in the fight against a new form of sex crime against children.
David Turner, 72, admitted having sex with the 1.17m doll, described by the National Crime Agency (NCA) as “anatomically detailed and correct”. He also bought clothes for it.
The NCA said that in previous cases where such items had been imported, defendants had pleaded guilty to importing an obscene object, but Turner had asked a judge to decide if his doll was indecent or obscene in the eyes of the law.
Judge Simon James ruled at Canterbury Crown Court, making it clear that such dolls are included in a category of obscene items whose import into Britain is prohibited.
Hazel Stewart, of the NCA’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection team, said the import of child sex dolls into Britain was a relatively new phenomenon.
“We know their purchase can indicate other offences against children, as was the case against Turner who had a sickening stash of abuse images,” she said.
Turner, who had a formal role in the oversight of a local school and was a church warden, was arrested in November after customs officers at Stansted Airport intercepted a 1m sex doll that had been imported from China.
It came with a fishnet body-stocking.
When police searched Turner’s home in south-east England, they found more than 34 000 indecent images of children aged three to 16 on computers and hard drives, as well as two other child sex dolls. He had viewed websites selling items with descriptions such as “flat chest love doll”.
The charge of which he was convicted yesterday related to the import of one of the dolls he already had at home.
Child protection charities called on the government to act to ensure that ownership of child sex dolls was treated as seriously as possession of images of child abuse.
“There is a risk that those using these child sex dolls or realistic props could become desensitised,” said Jon Brown of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
OBSCENE: A lifelike child sex doll imported from China by David Turner.