Murdered teacher's family to meet Blunkett

Matthew Beard
Monday 09 February 2004 01:00

The family of a teacher murdered by a man obsessed with violent internet sites are to meet the Home Secretary, David Blunkett, as part of their campaign for tighter controls of online pornography.

Relatives of Jane Longhurst, 31, demanded new laws to control pornographic websites after part-time musician Graham Coutts was jailed for her murder last week. During the trial at Lewes Crown Court, the jury had heard that Coutts, 35, kept Ms Longhurst's body for almost a month and visited it frequently while it was in a storage unit. He frequently visited websites devoted to snuff movies and necrophilia.

Ms Longhurst's mother, Liz Longhurst, 72 has called for political pressure to force internet service providers to close down or filter out these sites. Martin Salter, MP for Reading West, will also call for changes to the Obscene Publications Act of 1959 and 1964 in an Early Day Motion in the Commons today.

Mr Salter, who took up the case as Mrs Longhurst's local MP, said: "The Home Secretary is prepared to meet the Longhurst family with me to talk about what has happened and what we can do to stop commercial organisations making money from distributing such sick material that led to this murder. I am not about to launch a crusade against all porn, but sites that encourage an interest in sexual activities designed to do serious harm to others are beyond the pale."

Mrs Longhurst said: "I am absolutely delighted with the way the campaign is going. I didn't realise when I put forward my remarks at the press conference that they would be taken up. I am delighted that we have been given the opportunity to meet Mr Blunkett to try and take this further."

Detectives have investigated the websites that Coutts logged on to. But because they were not hosted by British internet service providers, they have no power to take action.