Channel 4's The Paedophile Next Door Will Show Man Confessing Sexual Attraction To Children

A self-confessed paedophile battling with self-loathing, fear and shame is to "out himself" on TV to ask for more help for people sexually attracted to children in a bid to stop them becoming criminals.

In a controversial Channel Four documentary, entitled The Paedophile Next Door, 39-year-old Eddie admits openly on camera that he has been sexually attracted to girls as young as four since he was in his 20s, but insists that he has never committed a crime.

The programme looks at so-called "virtuous paedophiles" and suggests radical changes are needed to child protection that include treatment and therapy for those who come forward despite never having committed any sex offences.

Eddie, who tells the programme that he is also attracted to adult women, says he has never abused children and does not plan to.

He tells documentary maker Steve Humphries: "People will probably say 'Why isn't this guy locked up? We should kill this guy, we should go and give him a good shoeing'.

"I, honest to God, won't run away from you and if that is what you want to do to me, you come and do it, because all you are doing in that scenario is just keeping the status quo.

"Going around abusing children is not acceptable, viewing images of child pornography is not acceptable, but people are just waiting for you to offend before they help you.

Eddie, a self-confessed paedophile

"They are saying 'Do what you want but if we catch you we are going to bang you up', instead of saying perhaps 'Listen, we can help you'.

"But if you don't have that help, (and) you don't have that option to come forward and say 'Look, I have got a problem, I need help', what are we changing? We are changing nothing."

Several experts in the documentary call for the UK to set up a similar scheme to Germany's Prevention Project Dunkelfeld (PPD) which treats people who admit they are sexually-attracted to children to help them live safely in society.

They claim research shows that as many as one in 50 men could be sexually attracted to children to some degree and the only resource they have at the moment is other paedophiles, including those who have committed crimes, in online communities for minor attracted persons (MAPs).

Dr Sarah Goode, an academic who studies paedophilia, brought the film makers Mr Humphries and German co-director Rudolf Herzog, together with Eddie.

She told the documentary that currently the only message getting through to potential child sex offenders was that they were "monsters" who faced a horrific time in prison when they were caught and jailed.

She told the programme: "That is the only message we are giving at the moment and that is not a deterrent, it doesn't keep kids safe because it is not saying that person has any choice.

"If we change that message and if we say to this person OK you are a paedophile but you are also a moral person who can make moral choices and you can choose never to break the law, never to offend, you can choose to keep children safe."

Speaking today she said that paedophilia was a "public health issue" that should be looked at "maturely" and addressed in the same way as campaigns to cut drink driving or smoking.

The programme, to be broadcast Tuesday evening, also sees Eddie meet Ian McFadyen, 49, who was abused by a schoolteacher as a young boy.

McFadyen was abused at Caldicott School near Slough, Buckinghamshire, in the 1970s and became a drug addict and child prostitute.

In the documentary he tells Eddie: "Eighteen years ago I was quite violent, I would probably have attempted to kill you."

Speaking in London today, McFadyen admitted that the documentary may not be popular with child sex abuse victims, who feel they do not get enough support themselves. But he said current practices are "antiquated".

He said: "The only reason I agreed to get involved in this was that we can look at this as being potentially another option towards being proactive.

"This is about stopping the abuse actually happening. It is not a comfortable subject, I don't want to sit with paedophiles, I don't advocate for paedophiles, I feel wholly uncomfortable with them, but ... the damage is done to me and my generation, what I don't want is that to keep occurring because we won't look at new ways and sit down with the offenders before they offend."

But the National Association for People Abused in Childhood [NAPAC] has said victims of abuse would be "offended" by the documentary.

Efforts should instead be focused on helping those abused rather than focuiding "in the wrong areas."

"Instead of feeling sorry for poor misunderstood paedophiles, we should be looking at the awful experiences of those who have been abused," Peter Saunders, NAPAC�s chief executive said.

Jon Brown, the NSPCC's head of strategy and development, praised the documentary and said that paedophilia needs to be addressed differently.

He added that there are many grades of attraction to children, saying: "There are going to be men out there ... who have some degree of sexual interest in children but are going to be able to manage it.

"There are sufficient inhibitors in place for them to know what they have got to lose, that it is not that strong and they can maintain a consenting adult relationship. They will probably be OK and not go on and offend.

"But the problem at the moment and over the last decade is the hugely increased availability of child abuse imagery online.

"That is a problem because that can fuel and stoke interest that for some people perhaps was not that great in the first place."

Eddie tells the documentary he realised he was a paedophile after using pornography, adding: "When I began to realise the implications of what I had been looking at, I began to really question myself and I was genuinely distressed and worried."

He adds that this was at the time in 2000 when eight-year-old Sarah Payne was murdered by Roy Whiting and there was "hysteria that every paedophile is a rapist and everyone is making that jump".

He tells the programme: "I thought I was a bad person. I thought somewhere along the line I'm going to do something.

"At that time I honestly was just thinking more and more about suicide. I couldn't escape it, it was never far from my mind."

The documentary shows him writing a letter to his mother admitting he is a paedophile so she does not find out from watching.

Channel 4 is not releasing any other details of Eddie's identity, apart from saying he had a normal upbringing, was popular at school and was captain of the rugby team.

He does not have a family and is receiving treatment in Europe, the filmmakers said.