Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Sarah's Law: The Facts; after the Murder of Eight-Year-Old Sarah Payne by a Convicted Paedophile with a Previous Conviction for Abducting a Young Girl, Her Mum Campaigned for He Creation of What Became Sarah's Law. Here's How It Works

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Sarah's Law: The Facts; after the Murder of Eight-Year-Old Sarah Payne by a Convicted Paedophile with a Previous Conviction for Abducting a Young Girl, Her Mum Campaigned for He Creation of What Became Sarah's Law. Here's How It Works

Article excerpt

THANKS to a scheme rolled out in 2010, you have the right to know if a rapist or paedophile is living on your street.

The child sex offender disclosure scheme in England and Wales (also sometimes known as "Sarah's Law"), allows anyone to ask the police if someone with access to a child has a record for child sexual offences.

Police will reveal details confidentially to the person most able to protect the child (usually parents, carers or guardians) if they think it is in the child's interests.

Here's how it works: What is the background to the scheme? The law was developed in consultation with Sara Payne, whose eightyear-old daughter Sarah was murdered by a convicted paedophile. Sarah, who lived in Hersham, Surrey, disappeared on the evening of July 1, 2000 from a cornfield near the home of her paternal grandparents in Kingston Gorse, West Sussex.

A body was found on July 17, 2000 in a field near Pulborough, some 15 miles from Kingston Gorse where she disappeared. It was confirmed as being Sarah.

Roy Whiting was convicted of the abduction and murder of Sarah on December 12, 2001 and sentenced to life imprisonment.

After he was convicted, it was revealed that Whiting had previously abducted and sexually assaulted an eight-year-old girl and had served four years in prison.

Ms Payne campaigned to bring in a law which allows every parent in the country to know if dangerous offenders are living in their area.

Who goes on the Sex Offenders' Register? Remember that what constitutes a sex offender doesn't necessarily mean paedophile. A wide variety of people are placed on the Sex Offenders' Register every year, after receiving a caution or being convicted of an offence.

This could be, for example, a man who received a caution for having smacked a girl on the buttocks while she was passing him on the street; a 22-year-old female teacher who had sexual intercourse with her 15-yearold student; or at the very severe end of the scale, someone like Roy Whiting. …

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