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Prison officials are looking at new ways to stop paedophile activity in jail after a report warning that offenders are still able to contact children. Tuesday, September 29, 1998 Published at 14:02 GMT 15:02 UK UK Action over prison paedophile rings.
A pair ofwho are have launched a court action to have their phone calls to each other restored.
Charles O'Neill and William Lauchlan are housed in differentand kept in contact by phone until authorities stopped it last year.
Following a decision by Scottish Ministers to refuse a request to reinstate the phone calls between them the pair have now raised a judicial review at the Court of Session in Edinburgh challenging the ruling.
They claim that the ministers, who are responsible for the, have breached their human rights.
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In the action they are seeking to have the decision overturned and to be treated as "near relatives".
Persons in that category are permitted calls.
O'Neill, aged 56, and Lauchlan, 43, maintain that the ministers are in breach of article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects the right to private and family life, by refusing the resumption of phone calls between them.
In the action they state: "Prior to their imprisonment the petitioners were in a long standing intimate and sexual relationship with each other."
It is said they maintained a household together.
They claim that their relationship should be respected in terms of article 8.
The pair said they wish to have contact with each other and maintain: "They have as close a family life as they can have subject to the restrictions of imprisonment."
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A court heard Julie was aged 14 when she lured the young boy, aged six, into a petrol station toilets in 2000 where she touched herself intimately. The judge said he was sparing the sisters an immediate jail term because their deafness would mean they would be in a state of "complete isolation" in prison .
Their phones were seized and data was downloaded from them. Ziad Najm, a concierge, was fingerprinted and had his biometric data retained. “I was held for two hours and Tarek for an hour. We were asked to hand over our phone passwords, which we did. They held our phones for five hours.”
O'Neill was ordered to serve a minimum 30 years in prison and Lauchlan must spend 26 years in jail before he can seek parole after they were convicted in 2010 of the murder of Allison McGarrigle.
Mrs McGarrigle, 39, formerly of Rothesay, Isle of Bute, had threatened to go to the police over their sexual abuse of a child and was murdered and her body dumped in the Firth of Clyde off Largs, in Ayrshire, in 1997.
McLauchlan and O'Neill were also convicted of a catalogue of sexual abuse of boys in a separate trial.
The trial judge, Lord Pentland, said: "It is clear that you are both dangerous and determined predatory paedophiles and that you represent a high risk to the safety of the public."
He described the pair as "highly ruthless and unrepentant individuals".
O'Neill and Lauchlan have previously gone to the Court of Session claiming that their human rights were being violated in the Scottish prison system because they were denied visits to each other.
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In 2015 Lord Stewart rejected their action ruling that they did not merit the protection of the family life provisions of the ECHR.
The judge said: "To extend protection for qualified rights like article 8 ECHR to egregious conduct far beyond European norms _ which is what the court is being asked to do in the present case _ undermines respect for the convention and the rule of law."
The Scottish Ministers are contesting the latest action raised by the pair and a hearing was due to take place to consider whether it was time-barred.
But David Leighton, counsel for Lauchlan, successfully moved to adjourn the case until February.
He said that Lauchlan only obtained legal aid permission for the proceedings yesterday and as yet O'Neill does not have legal aid.
The judge, Lord Brailsford, said it would allow time for the parties to make adjustments to pleadings.
Today's brief hearing took place in the High Court building in Edinburgh as O'Neill and Lauchlan were brought into court.
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