UK

Nick Ross, Former Crimewatch Presenter, Admits 'I'd Probably Watch Child Porn'

03/06/2013 09:36 BST | Updated 03/06/2013 10:24 BST
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File photo dated 13/1/2002 of broadcaster Nick Ross who was forced to defend himself today over controversial remarks suggesting "rape isn't always rape".

Former Crimewatch presenter Nick Ross has admitted he would “probably” watch child porn if he was offered the opportunity “to see what all the fuss it about.”

The 65-year-old made his comments at the Hay Festival in Wales, where he was promoting his new book ‘Crime’.

Referring to human curiosity, he said: “We’re all inquisitive. I had never seen, until I started working on Crimewatch, child pornography,” The Telegraph reports.

“I think if someone came to me and said: ‘Would you like to see what all the fuss is about?’ I’m sorry, I would probably say yes,” he revealed.

Ross also suggested muggings were more likely to be committed by “some communities from the West Indies.”

He added: “Does that mean they’re worse than us? No. Does that mean they’re less moral than us? No. It just means they’re not very good at pickpocketing, they do this sort of crime.”

Ross’s comments were greeted with derision on Twitter, with Labour MP Jim Murphy and Louise Mensch weighing in.

It’s not the first time the presenter’s controversial opinions have landed him in hot water.

Last week Ross was forced to defend himself after an extract of his book was serialised in The Mail on Sunday.

Ross wrote it has become “sacrilege to suggest that there can be any gradation: rape is rape.

SEE ALSO: Daily Mail Journalist Amanda Platell Admits Viewing Child Porn For Article, Faces Possible Police Investigation

“The real experts, the victims, know otherwise.”

He adds: “Half of all women who have had penetrative sex unwillingly do not think they were raped, and this proportion rises strongly when the assault involves a boyfriend, or if the woman is drunk or high on drugs: they led him on, they went too far, it wasn’t forcible, they didn’t make themselves clear... For them, rape isn’t always rape and, however upsetting, they feel it is a long way removed from being systematically violated or snatched off the street.”

Jacqui Hames, who presented Crimewatch with Ross for 16 years tweeted her surprise:

Meanwhile Sarah Green, a campaigner with the End Violence Against Women charity told the BBC: "It's really disappointing - more than that, it's horrible - that a reputable journalist like Nick Ross, with expertise associated with crime through Crimewatch, is trotting out with the same spurious myths about rape."

Jo Wood, of Rape Crisis, said: "I thought we'd moved on from such outdated, ridiculous viewpoints."

Ross released a statement calling the reaction “a false storm”.

He added: "For the record, lest it needs saying, and, as I make clear in the published extracts, anyone who suffers such a violating crime should be the centre of our concerns.

"As I write in the book, rape is one of the most defiling crimes and there is never excuse or justification for it."

For his part, Ross claims Wood has since read his book in full and told him she has realised he was not criticising sex attack victims.

He told Wales Online: "I was really upset when Jo Wood made her criticisms. When I got home, I asked her if she'd read the book and she said 'no' but once she'd read the book she wrote back saying, 'I'm satisfied there was no intention to criticism victims of rape - it actually strengthens their arguments'."