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Police ovation for mother of Sarah.

The mother of murdered schoolgirl Sarah Payne (right) was cheered by rank-and-file police officers yesterday as she called for limited public access to the sex offenders' register.

Sara Payne received a standing ovation from 1,000 delegates following an emotional address to the Police Federation annual conference in Blackpool.

Mrs Payne, who is expecting a child in the autumn, told officers she was 'speaking from the heart' and looked close to tears as she described the moments when her eight-year-old daughter disappeared from a Sussex field where she was playing on July 1, 2000.

But Mrs Payne rejected calls for child killers to face the death penalty, saying no human being had the right to take the life of another.

Speaking without notes, she told delegates she should have been entitled to know her daughter's killer Roy Whiting, already a convicted offender, had been living nearby.

She said: 'If I had known Roy Whiting lived in that area there is no way my children would have been out to play.

'I'm not over-protective - well some people might say I am a bit - but no more than any other parent.

'But that might have saved my daughter's life. How many other lives might be saved?

'Sarah would be alive if I had known Roy Whiting was there.

'But my final thought is that when Roy Whiting comes out from prison he doesn't go on a sex offenders' register.

'He is a murderer and a child abductor but he doesn't go on the register for that.

'He killed my daughter and one day he will face probation and I'm sure the powers that be will say time has passed and he has paid his penalty.

'But my grandchildren, my future grandchildren, are at risk from people like this and we have to find a way of protecting our children.'

She defended the decision by the News of the World to 'name and shame' paedophiles in the wake of Sarah's death.

'Naming and shaming was hard, when groups rioted it was hard, we felt very responsible, but we knew we were doing the right thing,' she said.

'I think there are better people than me to say whether these people should or should not be told.'
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:May 14, 2003
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