Paedophile held after TV claim

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Police arrested a suspected paedophile yesterday after a man claimed during a live television debate he had had sex with a series of underage boys.

As the man, filmed in silhouette and using the assumed name Lawrence, appeared on the BBC1 Kilroy programme, officers from the Twickenham police station went to the studio where they arrested him after the show. They had been tipped off by a member of the public.

The show was originally to have been concerned with the possible release of Graham Seddon a convicted paedophile from Merseyside. Mr Seddon who served six years of a nine-year sentence for the rape of a nine-year-old girl in Manchester in 1990, agreed this weekend he would become a voluntary patient under continuous medical supervision.

"Lawrence" responded to a request after Friday's programme which asked those who would like to participate in the show to call in.

The man in his 30s has never been convicted of a sexual offence but claimed to have had sex with 17 or 18 underage boys over the last two decades. He alleged that all of them - between the ages of 13 and 15 - had given their consent except for a 14-year-old whom he had forced himself upon.

In the course of an interview with Robert Kilroy-Silk he said that he had had trouble getting drugs prescribed which would subdue his sex drive but added that he did not think his alleged actions were wrong.

"I think it's acceptable", he said. "I can't do anything about my sexual drive. Everyone's got one. You can't forget about it for the rest of your life." Asked what would stop him committing such offences he replied that only death would stop him.

A spokesman for BBC Birmingham, which commissions Kilroy, said: "The Kilroy programme often deals with controversial issues and [yesterday's] discussion was no exception.

One of Seddon's victims appeared on the show and "Lawrence" was invited to appear on the programme to give insight into the psyche of a paedophile. "Lawrence" was last night in custody at Twickenham police station.