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Monday, April 16, 2007 

Scum-watch: Any case will do to justify Sarah's law.

Today's Scum goes all out in another effort to try to justify Sarah's law, highlighting a troubling crime, but not one that in any way helps to make the case for the naming and shaming law:

A PAEDOPHILE teacher sacked for sex attacks on two pupils got a job as a SCHOOL BUS DRIVER and went on to molest four other boys.

Vile Neil Scott, 57, was on List 99, which stopped him working in schools.

He had been sacked from Holmewood House public school in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, in 1986 and spent four years teaching abroad.

When he returned he got a job as a bus driver. But the Heritage bus firm did not have any work for schools at the time, and his background was not checked, Guildford Crown Court heard.

When the company won a contract to ferry pupils in Crawley, West Sussex, he was put straight on the school run without any further checks.

Right, so if it's anyone's fault, it's the failure of the company to check the background of its employees once it had gained such a contract. How a law based on Megan's law would have helped is unclear. Parents rarely have any contact with school bus drivers, and they often don't live in the areas where the children themselves do. There cannot be eyes everywhere all of the time; this is why background checks on those seeking jobs working with children are far more important that a blunt law which the Sun wants.

The editorial takes it a step further:

YET another paedophile slips through the net to land a job driving a school bus.

But the latest case — the third The Sun has exposed this year — is particularly shocking.

Actually, this is the only case in which the driver has abused children. The other two cases the Sun highlighted were only of drivers that had previous offenses but had not taken advantage of their position in any way. The second driver exposed was especially controversial, as he had committed his offense when he was either 17 or 18, and the victim had been under 14 (probably meaning she was 13), with the driver now aged 35.

He was on a list of banned teachers — but his bus firm knew nothing about that, and the checks they made turned up nothing.

This directly contradicts the Scum's own report. Which is it?

The kind of openness a fully-fledged Sarah’s Law would bring about would prevent paedophiles from sneaking into jobs where they can prey on children.

The watered-down version the Government favours will not offer our kids the same protection.

In fact, as the experience from the US shows us, Sarah's law would most likely encourage even more secrecy. The Sun is proposing Sarah's law as if it would be a panacea, when there is absolutely no evidence to suggest it would be. Rebekah Wade may have her heart in the right place, but the obsession with protecting children at all costs, while building hysteria and fear at the same time does nothing whatsoever to deal with the real problem of what to do both to prevent abuse and then to deal with both the abused and the abusers.

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