In Sarah's memory

NOBODY can fail to be moved by the dignity that victims' campaigner Sara Payne has shown since her daughter, Sarah, was murdered a decade ago by a paedophile with a history of child sex offences.

Her determination has led to far-reaching legal changes which now mean that parents can check with the police if they have any suspicions about an adult who might come into contact with their children.

A trial scheme in four force areas has led to more than 60 children being protected from potential abuse – justification, if any was needed, for Ms Payne's crusade.

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Yet the measured way in which the changes have been introduced has also prevented the new laws from becoming a charter for vigilantes.

It is, therefore, welcome that the so-called Sarah's Law is to be extended across the country, with North Yorkshire one of the next forces to embrace this measure.

Yet it is also reassuring that these safeguards are being rolled out in a gradual manner that gives the police every opportunity to monitor their effectiveness so innocent people are not wrongly labelled as

sex offenders.

Contrast this common sense approach – one which puts children's

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safety first – with the extent to which the criminal justice system is accommodating the wishes of Soham killer Ian Huntley as he seeks compensation from the Prison Service for an assault that he suffered at the hands of another inmate.

As Ms Payne said so forcefully: "I got 8,000 for Sarah's death. Can anyone honestly tell me it can be right that the killer of Holly and Jessica should get 100,000?"