Search

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

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

15:37
The coffin arrives for the funeral of David Gest arriving at Golders Green Crematorium in north London.

Mourners have remembered music producer and TV star David Gest at a funeral service in Golders Green.

13:34
PC Shane Moulds has been dismissed for misconduct

A Camden police constable has been formally dismissed for hurling abuse at a man he arrested and using “unreasonable and unjustifiable force” against him.

Big Green Bookshop is raising money for Haringey schools.  Joint owner Tim West  pictured. Photo: Nigel Sutton

Two book owners was sickened when an opportunistic thief stole £600, but their customers were “unbelievably” supportive and in a “tsunami of loveliness” helped them raise more than nine times the amount in donations.

Found dead: David Gest (Picture: Ian West/PA Wire)

The funeral of David Gest is set to take place this afternoon at Golders Green crematorium, according to reports.

Yesterday, 15:57
The case will be heard at the Court of Appeal

A man convicted of murdering a reclusive author in his Hampstead home will have his case heard at the Court of Appeal because of alleged police failings.

Yesterday, 15:08
Protest against Cycle Superhighway Regent's Park in March. Photo by Adam Tiernan Thomas

Campaigners against the proposed Cycle Superhighway 11 in Camden have welcomed a move by neighbouring Wesminster Council to oppose the scheme.

Yesterday, 14:43
Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner from the Movement for Reform Judaism has said she doesn't think MP Naz Shah is anti-Semtiic

Rabbi Laura Janner Klausner welcomed Naz Shah into her home last week for an interfaith feast for Passover - and this morning said that she would like to take the suspended Labour MP to Israel.

Yesterday, 14:06
Marriott Swiss Cottage

The Marriott Hotel in Swiss Cottage has issued an apology after a member of staff told mums attending a Water Babies class that they could not breastfeed by the pool.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe