September 28, 2012 13:03

Pete Townshend breaks silence on paedophilia scandal

The Who guitarist says he is judged unfairly by society after trying to expose child abuse

Pete Townshend breaks silence on paedophilia scandal

Photo: PA

Pete Townshend has spoken out about the child pornography scandal that engulfed him in 2003.

The Who guitarist says his decision to investigate child pornography was a product of "white knight syndrome, an attempt to be seen to be the one that's helping," he tells The Times.

"I had experienced something creepy as a child, so you imagine: what if I was a girl of nine or 10 and my uncle had raped me every week? I felt I had an understanding and I could help."

Townshend - who is the founder of sexual abuse charity Double O - said he paid a £7 charge to a child pornography site, which he cancelled straight away, to expose the financial chain of child abuse from Russian orphanages. When police discovered the files, he was cautioned and placed on the sex offenders register for five years after he admitted to breaking the law.

"What I did was insane," he added, adding that he never spoke out "because there was no sense of 'truth will out'. I've had the misfortune to read online comments where I've been judged as a paedophile because I've got a big nose."

Townshend will publish his long-awaited memoir Who I Am on October 11.

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