The mother of murdered schoolgirl Sarah Payne has hit out at a ban imposed by Belfast’s High Court on newspapers unmasking notorious sex offenders.
Sara Payne — whose eight-year old daughter was killed by paedophile Roy Whiting in 2000 — branded the court ruling banning photographs being printed of killers who are released from custody as “outrageous”.
Last week a High Court judge banned our sister paper The Sunday Life and other media outlets from publishing pictures of rapist and murder Ken Callaghan (41) when he is released back into the community.
His life sentence tariff expired last October and he is now eligible for release on licence. He currently remains on the pre-release scheme which allows him to spend his days in the community.
Mr Justice Stephens ruled that printing pictures of Callaghan would risk disrupting the killer’s home, employment and support networks.
Callaghan raped and murdered east Belfast woman Carol Gouldie over 20 years ago. On October 2, 1987 he broke into 22-year old Carol’s Sydenham home. He lay in wait for her to return home before bludgeoning her to death with a hammer. He also raped her while she was dead or dying.
Following the court ruling, Mrs Payne told the Sunday Life: “This ban is outrageous. It is a case of the public not being trusted.
“People have a right to see their faces. How can they defend themselves against such people if they do not know what they look like.”
Carol’s family have also expressed their disgust at the High Court ban. Her sister Sharon McWilliams said: “This sends out a very disturbing message to the society of Northern Ireland which is to be given a lower level of safety than the rest of the UK.”