GUARDIAN opinion columns written by a child sex offender blasting investigations into paedophiles still remain online after his conviction.
Sick Peter Wilby, 78, was this week sentenced after he was found in possession of 167 indecent images of children.
Twenty-two of the pictures were classed as Category A images – the most serious.
The former editor, who held top roles at the New Statesman and The Independent along with writing opinion pieces for The Guardian, later admitted he had an inappropriate interest in children while in top media positions.
Wilby, who had been arrested by the National Crime Agency at his Essex home last October, was given a 10-month jail sentence, suspended for two years.
The former editor was also given a rehabilitation requirement of 40 hours and is subject to a 10-year sexual harm prevention order. He was also placed on the sex offenders register for five years.
The 78-year-old has written multiple columns slamming the media’s coverage of paedophiles.
His articles remain online to read, including those critical of investigations into paedophilia.
The Guardian has today said it is reviewing Wilby’s columns.
In one article written in 2012, he suggests the “hysteria” around investigating paedophiles made those accused of child sex offences the new “victims”.
And he suggested victims of child abuse themselves would make false allegations “in hope of substantial payments.”
In another piece entitled Prints of Darkness, published online in January 2007, Wilby slammed press campaigns that he thought weren’t successful – including those investigating child paedophilia.
And he suggested that campaigns that demanded greater transparency over the location of child sex offenders were unsuccessful.
Wilby wrote: “Since most child abuse is committed by parents and other close relatives in the first place.”
In another column, published online in 2008, he blasted the media’s coverage of a children’s care home in Jersey – describing the investigation into paedophiles as a “witch-hunt”.
Wilby slammed newspapers for being critical of the home about its alleged torture, including sex abuse, when it turned out to be incorrect.
He typed: “This isn’t the first time the press has rushed to print allegations of organised abuse in children’s homes.”
Wilby added: “They listen to former residents who talk of violence and sexual molestation, ignoring any who insist they were treated kindly, even lovingly.”
Commenting after his conviction, Adam Sprague, operations manager at the NCA, said: “The material accessed by Wilby and recovered from his computer showed real children being cruelly and sexually abused.
“He was viewing this content while working as the editor of prominent national news outlets, a role in which he was entrusted to form the news agenda for the British public. A trust which he has greatly betrayed.”
The Guardian today told The Sun: “The Guardian reported prominently on Peter Wilby’s conviction.
“Our independent readers’ editor is now reviewing Peter Wilby’s articles published for the Guardian to consider any amendments.”
In the wake of his conviction, a New Statesman spokesperson said: “The New Statesman staff and management had no knowledge of Wilby’s arrest or charges before they were reported and are shocked and appalled to learn of these horrifying crimes.
“Wilby was New Statesman editor from 1998 to 2005, and remained a contributor.”
The Guardian has been contacted for comment.