Legal loophole over selling porn to under-18s is closed

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THE House of Lords has moved to close a 25-year-old legal loophole in the pornography laws.

Legislation rushed through parliament yesterday now prevents retailers from escaping prosecution for selling pornographic and violent films and computer games.

A legal blunder by officials 25 years ago means there have been no prosecutions for the sale of 18-rated material to youngsters under the 1984 Video Recordings Act since the error was discovered last August.

The Video Recordings Bill cleared the House of Commons in a single day two weeks ago and completed its passage through the Lords yesterday.

Lord Davies of Oldham told peers on Monday the legislation will not be retrospective but he was confident retailers convicted under the flawed Act would not be able to appeal or to have their sentences quashed.

The 1984 Act has been rendered unenforceable by the discovery the then-Tory government failed to notify the European Commission of its contents under the EU's Technical Standards Directive.

The new legislation is expected to become law today .