Life­like child sex doll case wa­ter­shed in UK

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

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.

PIC­TURE: NA­TIONAL CRIME AGENCY/REUTERS

OB­SCENE: A life­like child sex doll im­ported from China by David Turner.

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