Search

‘Sexual offences have nothing to do with sex, it is always violence’ – insight into the mind of a paedophile

PUBLISHED: 17:00 01 November 2012

Victim of sexual abuse

Victim of sexual abuse

PA Archive/Press Association Images

The justice system is often criticised for giving lenient sentences to paedophiles.

But how the court deals with child abusers depends on two things: the seriousness of the offence and a paedophile’s capacity and willingness to change.

There are often borderline cases where sex offenders can either be dealt with by a prison sentence or treated in the community.

One such case emerged last week when a long-serving Hampstead teacher was convicted of sexual activity with a child.

He had been facing up to two years’ jail, but in what Judge Donne QC called an “exceptional case”, the teacher was handed a three-year community order.

Judge Donne ruled the paedophile teacher would receive the most effective treatment and would be less likely to reoffend if kept within the community.

Clinical director of the Portman Clinic in Hampstead, Stanley Ruszczynski, calls it a “reflective capacity”, or a desire to delve and uncover the root cause of their offending and reconcile their behaviour with what is acceptable.

“Clinically we want to have evidence that a person is interested in thinking about their offence and why they committed it,” said Mr Ruszczynski.

“It’s about them finding a part in themselves which is curious, concerned or worried about why they did this.”

There are no quick fixes in the treatment of paedophiles, claims Mr Ruszczynski, only a long road to recovery.

He said: “The paedophile arouses or causes fear, pain, confusion and disturbance in the victim in an unconscious attempt to rid himself of these unbearable emotional states.

“Sexual offences are always violent offences, it’s nothing to do with sex. Their capacity for thought is flawed.”

The clinic works with paedophiles individually and in groups.

The group work is sometimes more effective because it is “more difficult to pull the wool over the eyes” of fellow sex offenders and progress is measured in a “degree of regret, sadness or concern” shown.

A report by the prisons and probation inspectorates found that some sex offenders were being released from jail without proper treatment to prevent reoffending.

The Stop it Now campaign, which works to protect children from sexual abuse, supported the treatment of paedophiles in the community if it helped to reduce the rate of reoffending.

A spokeswoman said: “Treatment is better than no treatment. The priority must be to reduce the risk of reoffending and if that’s in the community then that would be a better option. Prison has never really worked as a deterrent.”

The Sentencing Council, which issues guidelines to courts across the country, is in the process of reviewing the Sexual Offences Act, introduced eight years ago.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

11:46

Two men have been arrested in West Hampstead on suspicion of murder after a fatal stabbing in Westminster.

3 minutes ago

Idling coaches parked illegally in Primrose Hill are destroying the environment, according to John McCririck who has labelled the pollution as “disgusting”.

13:39

Hampstead could become its own constituency again for the first time since 1979 under proposed new electoral boundary proposals.

Yesterday, 17:11

Charitable students at UCS Hampstead have clubbed together to give a mammoth donation to the north Paddington food bank.

Yesterday, 13:11

Crouch End comedian Sean Hughes has died, his management company has confirmed.

Yesterday, 13:06

An application to demolish an Edwardian house in Muswell Hill and rebuild it as a modern home has been met with opposition from local residents.

Yesterday, 12:22

The husband of jailed mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has repeated his demand to meet the Iranian ambassador to the UK so he can attend a possible second trial of his wife.

Yesterday, 12:15

A senior police officer has said it is “not practical” for officers to investigate crimes such as shoplifting and criminal damage as his force bids to save £400 million.

PROMOTED CONTENT

If you are a pet owner, maybe you can empathise with this familiar tale.

Japanese baby and children’s clothing company Familiar is making their first venture into Europe with a pop up event in Hampstead

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now