EVIDENCE has emerged that the views of the Paedophile Information Exchange influenced policy-making at the National Council for Civil Liberties when it was run by former Labour Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt.
PIE members were lobbying NCCL officials for the age of consent to be reduced and campaigning for “paedophile love”.
Their view that children were not harmed by having sex with adults appears to have been adopted by those at the top of the civil liberties group.
Today we publish extracts from an NCCL report written for the Criminal Law Revision Committee in 1976 when Mrs Hewitt was general secretary.
It says: “Where both partners are aged 10 or over, but under 14, a consenting sexual act should not be an offence. As the age of consent is arbitrary, we propose an overlap of two years on either side of 14.
“Childhood sexual experiences, willingly engaged in, with an adult result in no identifiable damage.
“The Criminal Law Commission should be prepared to accept the evidence from follow-up research on child ‘victims’ which show there is little subsequent effect after a child has been ‘molested’.
“The real need is a change in the attitude which assumes that all cases of paedophilia result in lasting damage.
“The present legal penalties are too high and reinforce the misinformation and prejudice. The duty of the court should be to inquire into all the relevant circumstances with the intention, not of meting out severe punishment, but of determining the best solution in the interests of both child and paedophile.”
Mrs Hewitt, 65, was general secretary between 1974 and 1983. After days of intense pressure, the former Labour MP for Leicester West finally admitted last week the NCCL was “naive and wrong” over its ties to PIE.
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