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Barnardo’s responds to conviction of man who imported child sex doll

Release Date: 31 Jul 2017

In the first ruling of its kind a 72-year-old ex-school governor who imported a child sex doll has been convicted after a judge ruled that the doll was obscene.

Former church warden David Turner, from Ramsgate, pleaded guilty to importing an indecent object at Canterbury Crown Court today.

He also admitted possessing more than 34,000 indecent images of children.

National Crime Agency (NCA) officers arrested Turner in November last year after Border Force officers intercepted a 3ft doll which he was attempting to import from China. Turner asked a judge to decide if it was indecent or obscene in law. In the first ruling of its kind, Judge Simon James decided it was.

The NCA and Border Force have been targeting individuals importing child sex dolls into the UK. Since March 2016 more than 120 have been seized.

In response to the ruling , Barnardo’s Chief Executive, Javed Khan, said:

The importation of child sex dolls into the UK is an extremely disturbing new phenomenon and one that needs to be tackled with robust legislation and enforcement. We welcome the action by the National Crime Agency and Border Force to ban these obscene and realistic sex dolls based on young children.

Evidence from the NCA shows there’s a clear connection between possessing these indecent dolls and a sexual interest in children, with owners having been charged with offences such as being in possession of indecent images of children.

Barnardo’s specialist workers see first-hand the harm suffered by children who have been sexually groomed, exploited and abused. We are pleased authorities are working together to stamp out this growing problem which should help protect vulnerable children.

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