Lobby group calls for harsher sentences to child porn perpetrators

This comes after Plettenberg Bay paedophile William Beale had his 15-year sentence reduced to 10 years in the Western Cape High Court on Friday.

Gavel on cuffs. Picture: SAPS

CAPE TOWN – Lobby group Women and Men Against Child Abuse has called for harsher sentences to be handed down to those found downloading and viewing child pornography.

This comes after Plettenberg Bay paedophile William Beale had his 15-year sentence reduced to 10 years in the Western Cape High Court on Friday.

The court considered the seriousness of the crimes, sentences handed down in comparable matters, Beale's personal circumstances and child protection, among other factors.

The computer engineer had brought an appeal about a month ago, challenging the punishment handed to him by the Thembalethu Regional Court in George back in 2017.

He was convicted on more than 18 thousand charges related to the possession of child porn.

The organisation's Joanne Barrett said, “The South African judicial system needs to actually wake up; the courts need to realise that these are real children and by downloading those images and videos they’re fuelling the market for child abuse.

“Harsher sentences need to be imposed to deterred them from entering the market.”