Retailers that sell adult movies and video games to children face no legal comeuppance, after the discovery of a Government blunder that means that the 1984 Video Recordings Act was never enacted.
Officials in the Home Office in 1984 failed to notify the European Commission of the existence of the Act, as they were required to do so under an EU directive. The mistake was not spotted on two subsequent occasions, in 1993 and 1994.
Police are to be told to stop bringing any prosecutions until the Government brings in emergency legislation to re-enact the 1984 Video Recordings Act.
Until then, retailers will be able to sell adult videos and games to under-18s without fear of prosecution.