Growing pressure from the courts for database comes amid rise in cases A High Court judge yesterday called for a register of child-sex offenders to be set up in an effort to stop paedophiles from repeatedly molesting children. Deputy Judge Maggie Poon Man-kay made the call as she sentenced a transport worker with two previous convictions to eight years' jail for sexually assaulting four children aged five to 12. Sentencing Tam Tiu-shing, 42, in the Court of First Instance, Judge Poon said background reports showed he was a paedophile with a personality disorder, was very dangerous to society and was highly likely to reoffend. She endorsed a recommendation made last month by the Court of Appeal which said a register of repeat child-sex offenders would help protect children after offenders were released from prison. That recommendation, by Court of Appeal vice-president Mr Justice Michael Stuart-Moore, came in a judgment in which the court doubled the sentence of Kim Wing-yin, a piano teacher, from 20 to 40 months. Kim had pleaded guilty to three counts of indecent assault. Mr Justice Stuart-Moore suggested that a register be kept in the police computer system. The mounting pressure from the judiciary for a register comes against a steady rise in the number of offenders being jailed for sex crimes against children under 14, from 36 in 2003 to 61 last year. The call was met with caution by the Security Bureau, however. It said the government would have to 'carefully consider the desirability and feasibility of the proposal', the use to which a register should be put, who should be on it, as well as privacy concerns. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner, meanwhile, said setting up a register could be more problematic in Hong Kong than in other places because so many people here shared the same names. Yesterday's sentencing came after Tam pleaded guilty on August 1 to 12 charges of indecent assault. On November 5 last year, Tam had used a bag of toys to lure a five-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl from a Jordan playground to a Kwai Chung warehouse where he worked. Tam kept the children at the warehouse overnight, repeatedly molesting them, then sent them back to the Jordan playground the following night. A police investigation revealed that Tam had molested two other girls, both aged five, using similar tactics. A psychiatric report revealed that Tam showed only superficial remorse for the offences and failed to understand the harm he had done to the victims, the court heard yesterday. Citing from the reports, the judge said Tam was, however, himself a victim of physical, mental and sexual abuse when he was a child. The judges' calls for a sex-offenders' register were welcomed by some child welfare campaigners. 'I hope that we don't have to have a Megan Kanka case before we set one up,' said Siao Fong-fong, chairwoman of the End Child Sexual Abuse Foundation. Ms Siao was referring to the rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl that spurred the setting up of a register in the US under the so-called Megan's Law. But Priscilla Lui Tsang Sun-kai, director of Against Child Abuse, urged caution and said only the most serious repeat offenders should be placed on any database. 'We need to seriously discuss who should be selected to be registered, who should be party to monitoring it and who should have access to all the information,' she said.