More than 20 women in UK killed by men hooked on violent online pornography

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Sarah Everard, 33, who was raped and murdered by serving Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens last year, heads the scandalous roll call of victims. But we uncovered lower-profile cases going back nearly 20 years. Campaigners want tougher regulation to force porn providers to remove more extreme content, as well as age verification.

MPs are due to conclude a sixmonth probe into the connection between obscene web content and real-life attacks.

Dame Diana Johnson, who chairs the all-party parliamentary group on commercial sexual exploitation, said: “It’s time for MPs to confront the role of pornography in fuelling violence against women. What in our culture is fuelling men’s violence against women – and what do we do about it?

“No answer to that critical question is complete without addressing the role of online pornography.”

Children’s Commissioner Dame Rachel de Souza said last week sexual web material was as dangerous to youngsters as a gun.

She said: “I wouldn’t leave a weapon laying around in the offline world, and yet we’re doing something equally as dangerous in the online world.”

Our analysis shows pornography has been cited as an influence in at least 20 murder or manslaughter cases from 2003.

That year, music teacher Jane Longhurst, 31, was strangled in Hove, East Sussex, by Graham Coutts, who had viewed hardcore porn for at least 10 years.

Jane’s mother Liz and sister Sue campaigned against the spread of sickening online material. But although possessing sexually violent images was outlawed in 2009, Mrs Longhurst said there were few prosecutions.

Becky Godden-Edwards, 20, was murdered by taxi driver Christopher Halliwell in 2003 after she got into his cab in Swindon.

Eight years later, he abducted and killed Sian O’Callaghan, 22.

His computer searches showed a fascination with rape, murder, child abuse and bestiality images.

Becky Watts, 16, was suffocated in 2015, in Bristol, by stepbrother Nathan Matthews, who watched porn “every day”. Other victims include Viktorija Sokolova, 14, Stela Domador-Kuzma, 34, Catherine Burke 55, Iuliana Tudos, 22, Kayleigh Haywood, 15, Nahid Almanea, 31, Tia Sharp, 12, and Cheryl Moss, 33.

Vanessa Morse, of the Centre to End All Sexual Exploitation, said: “The porn industry has normalised violent sex.”

She said porn generated nearly $100billion (£76.5million) in 2020 and its websites had more visitors than Twitter, Instagram, Netflix, Pinterest, Zoom and Linkedin put together. One of the biggest platforms,

Pornhub, is said to have a bigger audience than the BBC.

Fiona Vera Gray, of London Metropolitan University, said: “They are data mining companies. They are not about sexual freedom, they are trying to get you to stay on the site as long as you can and keep coming back to the site.”

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