StopSO 2019 Conference

Below is a series of things from the StopSO 2019 Conference entitled
Insights into sex offending: Facing the reality

  1. Chief Constable Simon Bailey
  2. Juliet Grayson
  3. Personal Cameo from SH: the wife of someone convicted for a sexual offence
  4. Personal Cameo from Andrew: A paedophile
  5. Personal Cameo from David: Convicted of a sexual offence
  6. Slides from our speaker Klaus Beier: Founder of the Dunkelfeld Project Click here to download slides
  7. Full programme of the conference: Click here to download

A link to  Chief Constable Simon Bailey’s talk (He is StopSO’s patron an the National Police Chief’s Lead for Child Protection and Abuse Investigation) Click here to watch Simon Bailey

This is a link to the talk that Juliet gave at the StopSO 2019  Click here to watch Juliet Grayson

Personal Cameo: These were the words written and spoken by SH, at the StopSO 2nd Annual Conference in London on 1st May 2019.  She was a family member affected by sexual offending.

Good afternoon, and thank you StopSO for giving me the opportunity to speak today.


Sometimes extraordinary things happen to very ordinary people.

On June 18th 2008 my very ordinary life became extraordinary.

My home was raided, every piece of computer equipment and childrens games consoles were seized and my husband James arrested for the offence of down loading indecent images of children.

The consequences of his actions and subsequent events had the most traumatic effects on mine and my childrens lives. Effects that no one should have to endure because of someones sexual gratification.

IF on 18th June 2008, when James was initially arrested, someone had guided me a little, talked to me, would I have stayed, or would I have had the courage to leave, seen through his lies, manipulation and deceit. IF a year and a half later, 18th December2009, when the judge passed sentence on James, but wouldn’t grant anonymity…. there was a reporter in court, why didn’t he think of the consequences that would have been. I have many regrets, but one is that on that morning, sat in court alone, my husbands prison bag at my feet, I couldn’t find the courage to stand up and plead on behalf of my children for that anonymity, that still haunts me now. Not really my responsibility though.

Why didn’t he realise that the by having our names, not just his name but my full name too, even the name of the road that we lived on at that time, allowed to be publicised, that the consequences are just enormous. The case was not only in the local press but it made the nationals too. Sensationalised because James had a good, responsible job in the Middle East. By name association alone my children were identified. Where was the protection for them. They were 16 and 14 at the time of exposure. We decided to stay together as a family, not an easy decision to make at all. But a decision based on information and circumstances I had at that time. I believe now that the case would have been reported on and exposed anyway, so if we had stayed or not by name association we all would have been exposed. The knock on effect of the judge revealing those details were……. My daughter having to leave her school 6 months later through isolation, bullying and depression. My son at 19 feeling that there was always a cloud hanging over him and choosing to leave the country for the best part of 5 years. A tough pill for a mum to swallow.


Various house moves, moving from area to area as people became suspicious, our story never really added up. Isolation. A name change. The break down of the relationship with my parents. And believe me that’s naming just a few, the tip of the iceburg. IF I had had someone to confide in would they have made me realise that there were options available for myself and my children. I might have realised that I could leave. Instead I was frightened and fighting to keep my family together. Then something extraordinary happened. I was co-erced into becoming a sex worker. Yes, you did hear correctly. He lost his job, he had had an extremely well paid job at that time and he was the main provider. We had bills, we had commitments. It was now my turn to step upto the mark and provide……. His words not mine. I was made to feel immense guilt….. so I stepped up to the mark. Little did I know at the time that it was probably very contrived on his part. As one sexual preference was taken away from him via the justice system he replaced it with another one….. Me. But not me as an adult, me as a child. Would I have been fear for the last 9 years when I saw clients. It can be a dangerous very isolating job being a lone sex worker. You are in a very vulnerable situation. Working with others ie a brothel situation has a modicum of safety but is illegal. Whilst being a lone sex worker is legal it has safety issues. Would I have been abused, beaten, blackmailed and raped as I have been by clients and latterly James if I had had support offered to me. If I had had that support would I have felt that I had had to stay for the next 5 years through misplaced loyalty as I did.

To be mentally and lately physically abused like I was. Drummed into me nearly everyday that I was nothing now but a prostitute married to a paedophile, I was now as bad as he was, we were meant to stay together, no one else would want to be with me anyway…… his words not mine. I was his prostitute wife and it was now my duty, my responsibility to make sure he didn’t feel the need to reoffend…. His words. Putting all the onus on myself to make sure that all of his new sexual preferences that he seemed to have developed, such as his attraction to children, were catered for by me. I had become his new focus… not in a good way. He had started to make me behave like a child, call him Daddy, he started to buy little flat school shoes, little socks, knee length socks, skirts and blouses similar to school uniform. Further down the line this did escalate to actual school uniform, from specialist school uniform shops. Peversely the uniform from the school I had attended as a child.

He was always moving up a level. My pubic hair had to be shaved, sex toys started making appearances into the scenes he acted out, getting bigger and bigger. Eventually toys that were as big as my arm. All visually in perspective of a young girl and a grown man. He revelled in, actively advertised me and used me being a sex worker for his own needs and desires. It was James that went and bought the newspaper which advertised the Agency that I originally went to work for, ringed the advert pushed the paper across the table telling me to step up to the mark. James who set profiles up on adult sites, advertising me. James taking the pictures, the videos, to effectively sell me. Actively pushing me more and more into situations which benefited him sexually and financially. One example….. he started by pretending he cared enough to ask about the clients I was seeing that day. Simple little questions, then it escalated to asking about what we did in our sessions, then he wanted to know how it felt being with those clients, how big their penises were, how were they with me, were they rough (he enjoyed it if I told him they were rough and hurt me), then he asked for pictures on my phone, I had to ask these clients if they minded pictures being taken. I told them they were to go on my site. That gravitated to him buying a video camera and me having to get short videos for him. I was just being put in difficult and impossible situations more and more.

I would come home from work, always bathe, very often he would come home from work and stand by the edge of the bath asking about my day, me having to give a detailed account of my day, whilst he masturbated. As if I didn’t do as he demanded he didn’t know what he might have to do to be satisfied, find his sexual fulfilment…….. his words. This is why he wanted me dressed as a child, acting like a child. Piling massive amounts of guilt onto me……. My duty you see!!!!! So much guilt. If Probation, Social Services or the Risk Management Team had involved me, talked with me then maybe I would have been able to tell them my fears. Instead I was lost somewhere in the middle of his rehab and the frightening scenario of Social Services. My point to telling you just a snap shot of my story is in the hope that you get some understanding of what it is like to be a woman in my situation.

With James the programme that Probation offered possibly didn’t work as his diverse sexual needs still prevailed and he found and manipulated another source….. Me. Now I can see that possibly there were many missed opportunities for someone to step in and offer help for my family and help me.

I didn’t ask for help as I wasn’t aware that there was anything available for me. So I dealt with everything alone. Shame, fear and embarrassment being contributing factors. Now I have discovered that StopSO not only offers an online support group free of charge, but I could have had therapy through StopSO. I would have had a therapist who had some understanding of what I was going through, and had been trained to deal with stories like mine. Provided I could pay for it that is.

If more women like myself were encouraged to talk about these very sensitive and taboo subjects then I feel a lot could be learnt and maybe more information and practical help could be available. The offenders often get help once they have been caught. But we need it too.

I know that I would have found it very useful if Probation ran a small session to explain to partners exactly what was happening, what the courses entailed and what was hoped to be achieved. What to expect from partners after their sessions. Also if the Risk Management team has something similar, engaged with us, included us more, explained what to do if we had any fears or suspicions. What to do if we found anything that was an indicator of potential re offending. Another very important point that I would like to raise is about blame, denial and minimalisation. This is a hard part of my story to tell and probably hard to hear but none the less I feel very important. Towards the end of mine and James time together he announced one evening that he was leaving me and the children. He couldn’t take living with us anymore, he couldn’t cope with everytime he looked at us he felt guilt and he wanted to be free to start a new life, guilt free. I let him go, I let him leave that evening. But I have to be honest with you I didn’t take it very well and the next day I went to find him at his parents where he said he had gone to. He wasn’t there. I rang him and after the 3rd time of calling him he answered the phone. I asked him where he was and I was just screamed at to leave him alone that he had met someone else and that he just wanted a new start……. That’s the edited polite version.

Well I must admit my bucket overflowed that day and I took every tablet I could buy everytime I passed a shop I went in until I had a huge amount of tablets. Then I sat in a layby and ate them all. I remember my phone ringing and ringing in my head, eventually I answered it and it was James. Clearly by now my speech was slurred and he knew I had taken something, I can remember very sketchy parts of that conversation and situation. But I just wanted to sleep, I really just wanted everything to end. What had it all been for, everything that we had been through for him to leave and start a new life with someone else anyway. Everything my children had been through. He knew I was in danger, he chose to not ring an ambulance to get help he chose to ring my daughter to wake her and my son to tell them that their mum was mentally unstable and taken something and best they go and find me. He knew where I was as I had track my I phone. He told them where I was and the next thing I recall is an hysterial 18 year old daughter pulling at me and my son on the phone to the ambulance. A police officer at the hospital said to me it was one of the cruellest things he had come across…… my husband knowing where I was but not calling emergency services. By calling my children it actually stopped me getting help for about 45 minutes. When he came to the hospital eventually, he discharged me. Took me home……..and raped me, with every thrust was a slap and and spat on through anger. He actually re-enacted a rape I had endured through work, one that had took me along time to tell him about, but he had started to use that as it aroused him. Because I was mental, how could he leave me. I had stopped him being able to put all this behind him and start a new life. It was my fault…….. never his…..

3 days at the end of January 2015 where to change my life yet again. On 22nd January I found a memory stick hidden in an old watch box of his. I plugged it into my laptop and was hit with the most horrific images. I made him aware that I had been tidying and had come across this watch box. In all reality hoping that he would panic and get rid of the memory stick himself. He didn’t so I removed it and carried it with me for 2 days not wanting the responsibility of knowing what moral dilemma I faced. On Friday 23rd January by coincidence….. or was it??? Whilst his deviance and violence towards me had been getting steadily worse, it reached new heights. In the early hours of 23/24th January he woke me, I knew the routine…… He decided to add a new dimension….. He started to talk about my daughter….. who by now was just about to turn 19…..but he admitted rather a lot that night. After refusing to indulge him in this fantasy and taking the violence he gave out because I refused…… Isat by her bedroom door all the rest of the night. My decision was no longer a dilemma I made the right decision morally and handed the memory stick to the police. Emotionally mind blowing But my abuse and any potential abuse of my daughter stopped.

Unfortunately because I had removed the memory stick and not left it in situ the situation that followed allowed him to destroy any evidence that may have been available to the police and the cps decided against prosecution as they couldn’t be 100 % sure it was his. He, I and the Police all know the truth. Unfortunately no justice was brought on the charges and subsequent charges against me, and he is free. Wives and partners can be very protective, rightly or wrongly. I am sure if I had had more information I would have been able to help the Police more. We all know that many offenders lie, minimalize everything irrespective of their crime, and this can be especially true of sex offenders. If we were included in the rehab process then maybe we could make much better informed choices. Instead of decisions based on what the offender decides to tell us. Women like myself are strong, we keep everything running smoothly, help our families overcome all the obstacles, being the emotional and practical support that this situation throws up. But we can only take so much If just one person had concentrated a little on me or I had had a mentor to help me through such difficult situations and seen the bigger picture with me then maybe, just maybe my 2 beautiful children would not have had to witness their mum trying to commit suicide and being being pulled out of her car by police and paramedics having tried to take my life……. The guilt and shame finally just too much for my mental health to cope with. This is a tiny part of the last nearly 11 years of my life and difficult to condense into such a short space of time, so please if you have any questions at all then I am more than happy to answer them .

Personal Cameo: ords written and spoken by Andrew at StopSO 2nd Annual Conference in London on 1st May 2019

Good afternoon, my name is Andrew and I am a Paedophile.

Those unfortunate enough to be grouped under this blanket term, have been told they are monsters, freaks and vile.  Today I would like to tell you what it’s like being the target of all that stigma, and what it has meant for me through my life. This is my time to speak for myself.

I was brought up in a loving Christian household and enjoyed a happy, carefree childhood. I was creative, intelligent and I didn’t feel, at all, out of place.

At age twelve I hit puberty and started to get feelings of sexual arousal, not unlike my peers at the time. My sexuality had come along just as naturally as any other, and as far as I knew, was no different. At this time, naively perhaps, I fully believed my exclusive attraction to those, half my age, was perfectly normal, and thus far, I had been told no different.

It wasn’t until I was thirteen that I realised the gravity of my situation. While watching the news with my parents, a report about paedophilia, caught my attention and one phrase would go on to traumatise me for many years.

‘’How do we tackle the deplorable issues of child sexual attraction and abuse?’’

My blood ran cold and a torrent of negative thoughts overwhelmed my mind in an instant as I began to realise who or rather what I was, something that I had never chosen to be. I was just a terrified little boy, who had no idea what to do or who I could talk to about such an issue. I knew, in that moment, that I could probably never tell another soul, and my secret must remain hidden.

I began searching everywhere for any helpful information, but to no avail. Instead all I found were more examples telling me I was an abuser, that I was incurable and a stain on humanity. All I wanted was an escape, someone to listen, someone to help me, but none existed.  I was lost and afraid, and nobody was there to help. I wondered if they were right; that I was destined for nothing but bad things; but I didn’t want to believe it, I wouldn’t hurt anyone and I certainly wasn’t a child abuser, the concept alone made me sick. I was a good person; I never chose to be like this, but I could still choose to rise above it and keep my darkness locked away in secret.

I continued to be plagued by societies expectations and stigma for many years, leading into isolation, paranoia and ever deepening despair. I continued to push down my sexuality, but I could never find any attraction towards adults, no matter how much I wanted to. When I saw children, I felt both a paternal instinct for them and a sexual attraction to them, something that would tear my soul apart. I had wanted to have my own children since long before the attraction came along and had a deep affection to them. I no longer had any enjoyment for life, I put on a brave face each day and continued as normal but under the surface I was beginning to crack.

I continued to seek help, but none came. I turned to drugs and self-harm to silence the internal screams of despair and these were my only means of escape. My already poor mental health progressed into severe mental illness. Paranoia became psychosis, isolation became alienation, fear became hate, self-harm moved into suicidal thoughts. I would frequently regress into a childhood state that would feel more natural to me. I started hearing threatening voices in my head and was visited by tall, dark figures in the corner of rooms staring back at me.

I suffered like this for ten long years. I went to university in a vain attempt at claiming back my life. There it became apparent that I no longer fitted in. Drug addiction became a real problem and I was fooling myself that the course was going well. The experience culminated in my being sexually assaulted by a woman, having never had a previous sexual experience, leading to a rapid deterioration in my mental health.  I failed the course, came away hopeless and my first attempt on my life followed shortly after.

I had given up looking for help. I saw only one way out and it was one I had never wanted to reach for. In my psychotic mindset I began to justify the unjustifiable and I looked at indecent images of children online. The images involved nudity but no on-screen abuse or sexual contact, so I convinced myself that it was not a problem, and that no children were getting hurt. I used the images to gain relief and feel like a normal human being for a brief time. I never wanted to hurt children and I would never have attempted to contact any children or other paedophiles, and I would certainly have never physically abused a child because, believe it or not, I have a conscience. Images are one thing, rape is a whole different ball game.

I wanted to get back at the society that had abandoned me.  I wanted the life that had been taken from me, but nobody pays any attention to a paedophile seeking help until they commit an offense, when they throw the book at you, but by then children have become victims. The irony of this, in a world claiming to care for them, is not lost on me.  I attempted to take my life several times during the time I was offending.

Eventually I needed escape from the hole I had dug for myself. I was left with few options and had nothing left to lose so I, begrudgingly, came out to my parents about everything. They took it reasonably well, but I knew they would never look at me the same way again, my secret was out now. I was surprised that, even through this, they still loved and supported me.

They convinced me to seek help from a psychiatrist and came with me to the consultation. He claimed he would help and would not go to the police. I was elated; finally, I would get the help I so desperately wanted.

Two days later the police showed up at the door. I was beside myself, curling into a ball on the sofa but I fully admitted what I had done, handing all my devices to them for investigation.

Eventually I was charged, convicted and given a suspended sentence for two years, and to be on the sex offenders register for ten. I could easily have gone to prison but having been honest and seeking help made the difference.

No help came through the police or probation services, and the psychiatrist, who had seemed so concerned for me just days earlier disappeared altogether. For months I struggled, I had lost the images I had become attached to and had no contact with anybody.

I attended group therapy courses through the probation service and the Lucy Faithfull Foundation. Both of which amounted to little more than conditioning my behaviour as if I had never tried that before. All of the group were treated the same no matter their offences – some had chosen to abuse but I had not. I was told I was never not in control of my own thoughts, which was of course ridiculous. None of it was to help me understand the roots of my issues but rather to help keep children safe from me, the criminal. Other adult mental health support groups were and still are denied to me, being on the register.

Soon after this I came out to those closest to me. It had never come naturally to me to live a lie and it was a weight off my mind. This gave me a wonderful support network around me. I felt loved and accepted for the first time in my life. Most of those friends have stayed with me and supported me through thick and thin as they know my true nature and that my issues don’t define me. Some, however, have run away and never come back, breaking my heart in the process.

Finally, one friend turned up information about a small charity called StopSo, a group of psychotherapists highly trained in this field who believe in people’s ability to change and heal, a group that, sadly, did not exist when I was originally looking for help. It seemed too good to be true. I had become distrusting of professionals by this point but still willing to try anything. Maybe this was the door to a better future, a normal life, a normal sexuality. I was always going to open that door!

Once in therapy, I had to unlearn what had been wrongfully taught to me which had been so damaging. It took a long time to build trust and hope, but StopSO has been the only place where I have been treated as a person and felt genuinely understood. The relationship I have built with my psychotherapist, Michele, has been crucial to understanding where and how I fit into this world. From the offset he has treated me as just another human, without judgment. That alone made all the difference. This is all I’d needed since I was that scared, lonely and confused little boy. Michele has a deep understanding of my broken mind’s issues and has been able to unravel them. I have discovered that I was harbouring repressed memories of a traumatic event in childhood that I had no idea had ever happened, and that I was still locked as a child because of this. I am still working to unravel the true root of my struggles. My feelings of sexual attraction to children are fading and in their place I am finding attraction towards adults, mostly to personality but sometimes to physical attributes.  Psychotherapy hasn’t been easy, but the hard work has paid off and I am a completely different person through StopSo. I have found a normality that once seemed a distant dream. I still have work to do but I am becoming the person who I always wanted to be. I am now excited for what the future will bring and am currently studying psychology, aiming to become a psychotherapist. Thanks to therapy I can stand here and speak about my experiences in the hope it will stop others going through the same hell I have.

I wonder where I would have been had I found help when I was thirteen. It makes me sad to think of the missed opportunities, but I have chosen to find meaning in my suffering by standing up for a change in attitude towards those who want to be free.

Please open your eyes to those who are crying out for help, and listen before blaming them, so you might help them to change. If they are ignored, who is the real problem? Provide a place for men and women to come forward without fear, before things go too far. Accept them as individuals who have struggles and issues which, for them, go unheard and uncared for. With help at the earliest stage, for everyone, I truly believe we might make child sexual abuse and paedophilia into a far less common occurrence.

I’d like to end with a quote from Abraham Lincoln, shortly before he died.
“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

My name is Andrew and I am a human being.

Personal Cameo: Words written and spoken by David at StopSO 2nd Annual Conference in London on 1st May 2019

Hello. If you had googled my name six years ago you would have found it linked to pages of positive achievements – not just in this country but also abroad. Two weeks before my arrest I had been told that I was to be recommended for a knighthood. If you google me today you will find nothing of that – unless you scroll down probably hundreds of pages. Instead you will find many articles about the downfall of a paedophile.

And – as I was known for doing good things and it was in the aftermath of the Jimmy Saville revelations and the hysteria about what turned out to be a mythical paedophile ring involving senior figures including a former Prime Minister – someone who was falling from grace was good news.

Don’t bother looking up my name on the basis of this name tag, by the way, as I am using a false name. Not to protect myself – that horse has bolted – but rather to protect my wife and daughters who don’t deserve any type of publicity unless it is good for them. And it probably wouldn’t be and if there is one thing we have learned it is that a family that stands by a convicted paedophile – rather than being treated as deserving of sympathy – are derided and cut off almost as much as the offender himself.

So how did I become a paedophile? Well lets stop for a moment and look at what I was convicted of. I had viewed, downloaded and distributed – that is exchanged with others – images of children. I had also done the same with other kinds of illegal images not relating to children, the amount of images that were illegal making up probably about 10% of the pornographic images I actually had on my computer. The legal images came first and after, about twenty years of viewing them, I finally tipped over onto illegal images.

So, I arrived at my criminal offence through an addiction to pornography. I was seeking for ever more different forms of sexual experience as captured on camera.

Juliet tells me that there were three case studies last year about porn addiction and that message was well established but even I feel a bit of a fraud when I say I got to illegality via a porn addiction because there was a journey before that.

I started my sexual experiences when I was a younger teenager. I am not claiming abuse here. I have never been abused to the best of my knowledge. All of those experiences were pleasurable and I have always wondered whether that fact made it easier to make that first step into looking at images of middle teens – and we should not forget that images of sixteen and seventeen year olds were still being printed in men’s magazines and the “Sun” into the late seventies – if not the eighties entirely legally.

This was in the context of the age of sexual liberation of the late sixties and seventies when plenty of teenagers and older were experimenting with a wider range of sexual experience.

My first wife was as experimental as I and although I would be reluctant to describe it as a thoroughly open relationship it was by no means staid – or what the average social worker would describe as normal.

By the time my wife and I had been married for seven years my career had taken a new direction and was taking off and I would often be away from home from eight in the morning until midnight or beyond. It is not surprising that she found someone to fill the husband gap – especially as he was six inches taller, much more distinguished looking and richer. If I had been her I would have run off with him – and we all three remained on good terms.

In the subsequent years I went through a whole round of broad sexual experience bolstered by an increasing reliance on pornography – which my first wife and I had occasionally used as an adjunct to sex.

All of that pornography was well within the bounds of what was then legal.

Over the next few years my career continued upwards but I was emotionally unsatisfied and distorted. Then I met the woman who is my second wife. And she was nothing like the first. She would be described by social workers as normal. And that was fine. We had two beautiful children. We both had good careers and we were both well respected.

But I had a need to fill the broad sexual range that I had lost and that was filled by pornography and as we entered the 21st century and my career became ever more stressful – I had three nervous collapses between 2001 and 2011 – that pornography became my shelter from the storm and, at some stage, I tilted into illegal images that included those of children.

Online I was obsessed. Happy to talk to others about sex – with one proviso – they were adult. Never did I speak to a child online nor did I seek them out. Never did I desire any physical contact with a child and nor did I frequent places where there were children unless I was taking my children to school or out to the cinema or holidays and I was not seeking to spend time looking at or getting close to those children.

But I did break the law. The laws about images are there for good reason and I support the existence of those laws. I knew one day I would be caught. I couldn’t stop but I knew the end would come one day.

The day I was arrested a great load of stress was taken off my shoulders. I don’t think I was anywhere near as stressed when I was going through the legal process and when I went to prison or any time subsequently as I had been in the thirty years – and probably more – previously.

So why didn’t I seek help? It is a common understanding amongst people like me that if you seek out a therapist they are duty bound to tell the police. Where then is the advantage in seeking therapy? Better perhaps to hope to deal with it yourself.

I did go into therapy after my arrest. In the astonishingly short period between my arrest in mid-June and my imprisonment at the end of October I had something like twelve hours of therapy and was already able to see some light at the end of the tunnel. My therapist wrote a report that confidently outlined my sexual preference as for adult females.

I have no argument with the justice system that arrested me or convicted me. I was treated courteously and with some sympathy by the police and the judge – as were my family.

The prison system was another matter entirely. People I talk to are astonished that there is no therapy in prison and that people come out in a worse mental state than they went in. My therapist told the probation service and the judge that a custodial sentence would make things worse rather than better unless there was access to therapy. The probation service recommended a non-custodial sentence.

The judge felt unable to accede to that so I was sentenced to two years. No therapy. As I was a low risk prisoner I was not entitled to SOTP – which, frankly, would not have been useful anyway. But this is not the place to talk about the way I was treated by the prison service for the first eight months of my imprisonment or the shameful way that the prison service victimised my family.

When I was released from prison I immediately got back in touch with my previous therapist and attended sessions over the next two and a half years. Without that therapy I believe life would have been very difficult for me to cope with. For, most of all, I needed to kick start the strong moral and ethical base that had typified me in relation to young people and women before my descent. I had also a need to realise that I was fixable and not a lost cause and that I was not, in some way, different from other people that was a permanent flaw. Most of all I needed to re-establish that my sexual preference was indeed for adult females. In this regard it should be noted that I have been involved with sexual partners where there were gaps of between ten and twenty-five years in age. In every case I was the younger partner.

In all I think we spent about £3000 on therapy mainly for myself but also for my wife.

How much easier and how much safer would it have been if the authorities had paid that £3000 rather than spending well over £100,000 and doing nothing to resolve the underlying issues. If the system exists to make children safe then it is manifestly failing. Based on ill thought out policies and punishments that are based on fear I rather than evaluation of risk and without any form of sensible followup or access to therapy the system releases damaged men and women – for there are a small number of women too – into the community without the necessary means to prevent themselves re-offending.

I am very grateful to my therapist for the work she did with me.

I think that StopSO is an important resource and deserves to be listened to as an organisation that can both inform debate in a research and knowledge-based way and provide therapist resource. Better by far if the approach of StopSO was the basis of intervention rather than the current failed and dangerous approach of public policy.