Sex offenders should stay on register for life, say murdered April's family

The family of murdered five-year-old April Jones have called for sex offenders to remain on the register for life.

April's mother, Coral, and sister, Jazmin, were speaking ahead of a Parliamentary debate on Monday over handing tougher sentences to child sex offenders.

Five-year-old April was snatched from outside her home in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, in October 2012 by Mark Bridger, who was sentenced to a whole life term for her abduction and murder.

Her body has never been found and during his trial Bridger refused to say what he did with her remains. He was found to have accessed child abuse images online just hours before her death.

A petition calling for sex offenders to remain on the register for life has since reached well in excess of 100,000 signatures, triggering the Westminster debate.

Speaking on ITV's Good Morning Britain, Jazmin said: "There's a reason you're on it (the sex offenders register) - you should stay on it for life.

"Any normal person wouldn't have thought to look at it (child abuse images).

"Someone showing interest in it is going to go out and do something."

Asked whether offenders deserved a chance to rehabilitate themselves, April's mother said: "What about the children who have gone through what the paedophile has done to them? Does that child get a second chance? 

"I find the internet needs to be stronger, and not as easy to get access to these (child sex abuse) images."

In response to the petition, a reply from the UK Government said a mechanism, introduced in 2012, allowing offenders on the register for life to apply for the restrictions to be reviewed did not mean they would automatically come off the register.

The statement said: "The UK has some of the toughest powers in the world to deal with sex offenders and those who continue to pose a risk will remain subject to notification for life."

An NSPCC Wales spokesman said: "It should not be forgotten that every sex offender has committed horrendous abuse and left victims in their wake.

"Before anyone comes off the sex offenders register they should undergo a risk assessment, and if they still pose a threat to children they must remain on it.

"We also believe those on the register have to be strictly monitored and this should include regular visits from the police."

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