1. ITV Report

Liz Longhurst - 'Google must act on extreme porn'

Liz Longhurst Photo: PA

A woman who fought for a ban on violent online pornography after her daughter was murdered by a man from East Sussex has said companies such as Google must "get their act together" and tackle the disturbing problem.

Liz Longhurst said changes to the law in the wake of her campaign have been implemented only a handful of times and it was down to internet service providers (ISPs) and search engines to stop the material from being made available.

Her daughter Jane Longhurst was murdered by extreme-pornography obsessive Graham Coutts in 2003, prompting Mrs Longhurst to fight for a ban on such images, which was ultimately brought in to force in 2009.

But both the legislation and the responsibility of internet firms to do more have fallen under the spotlight once again after the conviction of April Jones killer Mark Bridger, who also browsed for sick images online.

Mrs Longhurst said she was not surprised that the troubling issue of extreme porn had once again returned to the fore.

She said: "What annoys me immensely is that Google won't block these sites. They say we've got to have freedom. All I ask them is where was my daughter's freedom - tell me that."

Mrs Longhurst added: "The campaign was to get the legislation changed but it's only ever been implemented just a handful of times. It's not used very often."

She went on: "I feel it's got to be revised. I hope Theresa May looks at it. It's so easy just to say things - but to actually do something about this problem is what is needed.

"Internet service providers can go on about freedom. What happened to Graham Coutts is he thought he was the only person who thought in that way - but then the internet came along and it normalised this material for him, so he relaxed and went with the flow.

Mrs Longhurst said it was a global problem and attempting to tackle the problem in this country alone was not enough.

"It is really up to the ISPs. They can make it possible, " she said. "The ISPs have to get their act together."

Mrs Longhurst expressed her sympathies with April Jones's parents and said she was deeply saddened by the "dreadful case" as her body has never been found.

"It was simply dreadful for the five weeks my daughter's body was not found but it was a relief when it was found.

"However, it didn't make the pain any less. I never really got closure."

Musician Coutts, 39, from Hove, strangled Miss Longhurst with a pair of tights after forcing her into sex. He then hid her body in a storage depot before taking it to secluded woodland and setting fire to it.

A psychiatrist said that since the age of 15, Coutts had been having thoughts about murdering women and feared they might lead him to commit crime.

After a campaign fought by Mrs Longhurst and former MP Martin Salter, a new law banning ownership of extreme porn was introduced into the Criminal Justice Bill.