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October 27, 2023

Online Safety Bill becomes law

  • Following years of debate, the government’s controversial Online Safety Bill has become law.
  • The Bill’s aim is to make the internet safer for children by forcing tech firms to take more responsibility for the content on their platforms.
  • The new law puts the onus on firms to protect children from some legal but harmful material with Ofcom being its designated regulator.
  • Platforms will have to show that they are committed to removing illegal content including child sexual abuse material (CSAM), promoting self-harm, terrorism and more.
  • Some are of the belief that there have been changes to the Bill which means it does not go far enough in protecting the public.
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.

Teenagers admit assaulting black girl outside school in viral Snapchat video

  • Two teenagers who attacked a 15-year-old girl outside a school in a video that went viral have admitted to inflicting actual bodily harm.
  • Footage showed the pupil being punched, kicked and having her hair pulled while her attackers were encouraged by adult onlookers outside Thomas Knyvett College in Ashford, Surrey.
  • One defendant allegedly repeatedly called the girl a “monkey” and threatened to “rip a dreadlock” out of the girl’s head.
  • The defendant denies she was the one making the threats.
  • On Wednesday, both girls both pleaded guilty to one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
  • One defendant also pleaded guilty to assaulting a second teenage girl by beating on the same day.
  • Both defendants are to be sentenced at later dates.
  • For more, please visit the ITV News website.

Isobel Murphy jailed for sexually abusing teenage boy

  • Isobel Murphy sexually abused a 13-year-old boy in her then east Belfast home has been sent to prison, and has been handed a 27-month sentence, divided between prison and licence.
  • Mrs Murphy pleaded guilty to a total of six charges committed in 2021.
  • The child told police that Murphy had engaged in sexual activity with him, both physically in person and via sexually explicit text messages.
  • He reported that she ensured he had Snapchat on the phone Murphy gave him and told him to keep it concealed.
  • There were 350 Snapchat messages exchanged and a video she sent to him of her performing a sex act. He revealed Murphy’s offending when his mother found the phone.
  • The child has had to move schools and it has been reported that his mental health is suffering.
  • The judge spoke of the “grooming and manipulative behaviour” displayed by Murphy and made her subject of a 10-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order and placed her on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years.
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.

Drugs death: Warning from family of Caitlin McLaughlin

  • The family of a teenage girl who died after taking an ecstasy tablet at a concert have warned other young people about the dangers of experimenting with drugs.
  • A mural has been done in her memory and will be unveiled on what would have been her 17th birthday.
  • Caitlin’s aunt Aileen said she wanted the message of her death to reach teenagers.
  • Aileen stated: “I am a parent myself. Teenagers will pass this mural every day in Galliagh – so they will know what happened to her, it’s reminding them every day..
  • She further reported: “I hope the mural opens people’s eyes to the danger of drugs and a young life gone too soon. She never even got to see her GCSE results.”
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.