Castration’ seen as paedophile fix
Chemical castration should be considered for paedophiles “to take the urge away”, a former government minister has said.
Zane DeSilva, a Progressive Labour Party backbencher, added: “If you can stop a paedophile from offending a young child I will agree to anything.
“You might get the human rights groups who will have a lot to say, but the fact of the matter is that when it comes to paedophiles, they get no sympathy from me.”
Mr DeSilva visited Britain with former One Bermuda Alliance MP Mark Pettingill two years ago on a fact-finding trip to examine how the country dealt with sex offenders.
He said: “We spent four days meeting people working in different areas that deal with sex offenders and paedophiles, and people in some of those areas had talked about chemical castration — you know, to take away the urge and the fantasy.
“Everyone knows how I feel about paedophiles — as far as I am concerned, a paedophile is incurable.
“I have not seen anywhere in the world where a paedophile has been cured — in my book you can increase the penalties to 20, 30, 40 years because as I have said many times before, for a child it is a life sentence when they are abused by a paedophile.
“To me, the perpetrator should get a life sentence.”
Mr DeSilva was speaking this week after a Joint Select Committee report, which recommended a register of sex offenders, was tabled in the House of Assembly.
The MP brought a motion for a registry to the House of Assembly three years ago and sat on the JSC as deputy chairman.
Chemical castration uses drugs to reduce sexual urges.
The procedure was promoted in Britain in 2007 by John Reid, then Labour Party Home Secretary, but it has had limited use since.
Britain’s Ministry of Justice is considering proposals to increase the use of chemical castration on convicted sex offenders.
Phillip Lee, the justice minister until he resigned in June, asked officials to look at ways to increase the use of medical treatment to stop sexual urges because international evidence suggested it was the best way to prevent reoffending.
Treatment is voluntary in Britain, although it can help offenders to get parole.
But some countries, including Indonesia, South Korea and Poland, have mandatory chemical castration.
Chemical castration is used in a small number of US states, including Georgia, Texas and Louisiana.
Mr DeSilva hoped that the prospect of a register would send a strong message to sex offenders.
He said: “We are coming after you and we will seek you out and we will punish you.”
He said Renée Ming, a PLP backbencher and chairwoman of the bipartisan JSC committee, had promised that the report “will not sit on the shelf”.
Mr DeSilva added: “This Bill originated with me. We are very pleased we have finally got to a stage where the recommendations and report were laid before the House.
“I want it enacted as soon as possible. We will give the Attorney-General and her people some time to look at it and we will certainly be pressing the AG to move forward with legislative changes.
“For me it needs to happen yesterday. Things are going to happen, I can assure you. There are too many of us who are passionate in the room and that is on both sides by the way — Suzann Roberts Holshouser when she was an MP for the OBA worked closely with me on this.”
Mr DeSilva said some work still needed to be done on the report’s recommendations, including the level of seriousness that would lead to an offender being included on the list.
He explained: “If someone gets caught urinating in a public place they could get placed on it, for instance. I think that you have to look at each case on its merit.
“The other argument by some legal people was you may have a 17-year-old boy who is dating a 15-year-old girl and they may have consenting parents but he could end up on the sex registry because she is underage. These are things that need to be discussed.”
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