Childlike sex dolls are being sold on websites such as eBay and

first_imgIt is not a crime to make these dolls, to distribute them or to possess them. This is bafflingPeter Wanless, the NSPCC, Chief Executive David Turner, 72, had attempted to argue that the 3ft 10in doll, which was dressed in children’s clothing, was not “indecent or obscene”, but in a landmark ruling the judge rejected the legal challenge.The married pensioner was caught in November last year after Border Force officials intercepted a parcel containing another doll he was attempting to import from China. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Child-like sex dolls are being sold on websites such as eBay and Amazon, the National Crime Agency (NCA) has warned, as campaigners urge the government to outlaw the disturbing trade.More than 120 dolls, which are manufactured in the Far East and cost up to £1,000, have been seized by customs officials in recent months.But a loophole in the law means while it is illegal to bring them into the country, it is not against the law to possess, distribute or manufacture them.Officials from the NCA – dubbed Britain’s FBI – said people with a sexual interest in children were purchasing the products from legitimate websites such as eBay and Amazon, and said the trade was proving difficult to tackle because they could be difficult to distinguish from perfectly legal adult sex dolls.Yesterday a former school governor and churchwarden became the latest person to be convicted of importing one of the child sex dolls into Britain.center_img Dan Scully, deputy director for intelligence operations at the Border Force, said this showed those who ordered the models often strayed into sex crimes.He said: “By identifying these importations, working with partners, what we’ve identified is a whole set of people with interests in sexual activity with children who were completely unknown.”The NSPCC has now written to Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, to ask that the gap in legislation is urgently addressed.In a letter seen by the Daily Telegraph, Peter Wanless, the NSPCC, Chief Executive, said: “It is not a crime to make these dolls, to distribute them or to possess them. This is baffling and needs to be changed so that the law in relation to child sex dolls is brought in line with the law on prohibited images of children.”An NSPCC spokesman added: “Until this loophole is closed, online retailers who have these items available to purchase should immediately remove them from sale.”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.He added: “Evidence from the NCA shows there’s a clear connection between possessing these dolls and a sexual interest in children, with owners being charged with offences such as being in possession of indecent images of children.” When he arrested him at his home in Ramsgate, Kent, they found another anatomically correct doll which he had had sex with, but he claimed he had purchased as a “companion” for he and his wife.Turner, who was also found to have in his possession 34,000 indecent images of children,  faces up to 14 years in jail for the offences when he is sentenced in September.After being arrested Turner resigned as a school governor of St Ethelbert’s Church Primary School in Margate and from St Ethelbert’s and Gertrude Church where he was a warden.Analysis of Turner’s computers showed he viewed websites selling items advertised as “flat chest love doll” and “mini silicone sex doll 65cms little breasts”.But Hazel Stewart, of the NCA’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command, said the products were also on sale on sites such as eBay and Amazon.She said law enforcement officials had been in touch with the companies, but likened stopping the trade to “turning round a tanker”.A spokesman for Amazon said: “All Marketplace sellers must follow our selling guidelines and those who don’t will be subject to action, including potential removal of their account.”Border Force officers have seized 123 dolls in little more than a year since March 2016 and so far seven people have been charged with importing them, including one man who was jailed last month.last_img read more