Manchester

Salford paedophile ex-wife's anger at parental rights

The ex-wife of a convicted paedophile has called for serious child sex offenders to be stripped of their parental rights.

The mother-of-two from Salford, who cannot be named for legal reasons, does not want her children's father to have anything to do with their upbringing.

No matter what their offence, a prisoner is still legally allowed to keep their parental responsibilities.

The Ministry of Justice said the safety of the child was always paramount.

However, it said it could not comment on individual cases.

The woman's former husband is currently serving a 10-year sentence for inciting two strangers to rape young children.

Sole responsibility

He also admitted having more than 2,000 child sex abuse images on his computer in 2007 and had taken an indecent photograph of his own child.

Even though access to their children would be limited, supervised or even banned when he is released the father can still have a say over their upbringing.

The Children's Act states it is in the interest of the child to have a relationship with both parents.

The mother is concerned that if anything was to happen to her, her ex-husband would be given sole responsibility of their children.

She told the BBC: "I just assumed that he wouldn't have any rights regarding children and even his own.

"He has been put on the sex offenders' register, but he can still have an input into my children's life.

'Returned to the family'

"If a parent has been so irresponsible as to commit crimes against children and sometimes children within the family is it right then to give them the chance to continue a relationship with that child?"

She said it should be up to a judge in a criminal court to decide if the crime is so heinous that the offender should be banned from having any part in their children's life.

Donald Findlater, the director of the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, which works with child sex offenders and their families, said: "I understand the needs for keeping the children safe and what is best for children.

"Some pose an on-going risk to children and some do not, remarkably some of those who have sexually abused children have returned to live with their family."

He said the decision should be left to the family courts to decide whether it would benefit the child if the paedophile had an input in their life.

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