Briton jailed in paedophile crackdown
Wednesday 31 July 1996
Steven Roy Mitchell, a computer analyst from Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, was yesterday sentenced to 17 years in jail and ordered to pay compensation of200,000 pesos (pounds 5,000) for molesting two boys aged four and eight.
Passing judgment in the capital, Manila, Judge Lorenzo Veneracion, said he was satisfied that Mitchell was "guilty beyond reasonable doubt". The 44-year-old Briton had been renting a room in the apartment where the boys live. He was found to have offered inducements to family members to gain access to the boys.
This was the second time that Mitchell has been charged with a similar offence. It is believed that he avoided prosecution the first time by making payments to the victims' families. In cases against other paedophiles, the prosecutions were handled so incompetently that no convictions were secured.
However there is a growing political determination to tackle the problems of paedophilia and child prostitution. In 1992 a law was passed to give special protection to children threatened by paedophiles.
Mitchell's conviction coincides with the visit to Manila by Ann Widdecombe, the Home Office minister, who was briefing the Philippine authorities on British legislation to prosecute paedophiles who commit illegal acts overseas.
It also coincides with the end of a training programme,conducted by officers from Scotland Yard, for a squad of 26 Filipino policemen, justice department agents, state prosecutors and social workers to help the victims, to gather evidence against offenders, and to crack rings of organised paedophiles.
Non-governmental child-care agencies in Manila have alleged that many victims of sexual abuse have been forced into prostitution by their families who are living in conditions of extreme poverty. However,Filipino law makers believe that stepping up punishment is the way to deter offenders. Earlier in the year they passed a law imposing the death penalty for child abusers whose crimes lead to the death or insanity of a minor.
Remarkably, given the high level of known paedophilic activity in the Philippines, only four people, including Mitchell, have been successfully prosecuted for child-sex abuse. The first foreigner to be sent to jail was Keith Fitzgerald, a 66-year-old Australian found guilty of paying to have sex with a 13-year- old girl. Two Filipino men have also been convicted of child sex offences. Another Briton, alongside a Frenchman and a German, are awaiting trial on child-abuse offences.
Social workers in Manila are worried that some men are turning to children in the mistaken belief that they are less likely than prostitutes to carry the Aids virus.
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
- 5 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
Ben Affleck asked TV chiefs to hide slave-owning ancestry, new hacked Sony emails published by Wikileaks claim
Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...