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Why I will be signing the petition backing April's law.

Byline: Judith Phillips Follow her every Monday

OF ALL crimes against humanity, paedophilia is surely one of the vilest, and when it leads to the murder of a child it progresses to an even more horrific level which for the vast majority of us, is hard to comprehend.

Like very many in North Wales and beyond, I was shocked and saddened by the abduction of little April Jones from close to her home in the sleepy town of Machynlleth on October 1, 2012.

And when it later became apparent that she had then been murdered by a paedophile, my shock turned to disgust and anger.

Why anyone would want to harm an innocent child in this way is almost impossible to comprehend, and yet hardly a week goes by where we don't hear or read a story of child abuse by adults who obviously have no moral compass, and somehow delude themselves that such behaviour is acceptable.

That's why I support whole heartedly the courage of April Jones's family in launching a petition calling for a change in the law regarding child sex offenders.

And I'm particularly impressed by the bravery of April's 14-year old sister Jazmin who spoke on national radio of her personal crusade to see laws for this type of offence significantly tightened.

Jazmin, who shared a bedroom with April, who was five when she died, has obviously been deeply traumatised by terrible way she met her death yet has found the courage to publicly speak out about her determination to see a so called April's Law introduced.

The petition calls for all sex offenders to remain on the register for life, for service providers and internet search engines to be better policed over images of child abuse, and for harsher sentences for those caught with indecent images of children.

April's killer Mark Bridger is currently serving a life sentence for her abduction and murder, a crime which was further compounded when he refused to reveal the whereabouts of her body - and in his case I believe that life should certainly mean life.

It would be frightening to hear that he had been released after only serving a proportion of his sentence and could be resettled in some community that might not be aware of his crime.

The Jones family are hoping to get 100,000 signatures on their petition which could then help to guarantee that their call for April's Law to be discussed in Parliament is heeded.

I for one, will be signing it, and I hope that the 100,000 target is reached swiftly so that law changes are introduced sooner rather than later.

For her devastated family who are still struggling to cope with their grief, this would no doubt bring a degree of personal solace, as well as helping to ensure that other families don't have to live through the horror and torment they have endured.

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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:Sep 19, 2016

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