Letter: In response

December 7, 2001

I hope it will assist the academic figures whose integrity and intellectual freedom have been under attack ("If no rules have been broken, perhaps the rulebook requires some attention", THES , November 23) if I respond to several inaccurate and, I believe, libellous allegations made about me.

Your reporter introduces me as "one of the United Kingdom's most notorious convicted paedophiles", a surprising assertion given that I have never been convicted of any sex offence. I received a two-year prison sentence 20 years ago for "conspiracy to corrupt public morals", an essentially political charge similar to that levelled against Socrates, who was accused of corrupting the young when his offence was confined to the world of ideas.

In a curiouser assertion, your reporter accuses me of advocating sex with children, including my own, in Paedophilia: The Radical Case . I am not a parent and did not advocate sex with anyone's children. I advocated legal and social reform. Your reporter appears to imply that I urged people to commit offences against children, and that is a serious misrepresentation.

No one contacted me for a comment, despite the reporter's boast of access to my online communications and, therefore, email address. The THES should have insisted efforts were made in this regard.

Tom O'Carroll

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