Paedophiles and rapists yesterday won the right to have their names removed from the Sex Offenders Register in a landmark human rights ruling.
Appeal Court judges ruled sex offenders who no longer pose a threat should be given the chance to have their names wiped off the police database.
The decision has outraged victims' groups who fear sexual predators will commit further crimes without any restrictions or supervision of their movements.
Currently those given a jail sentence of more than 30 months for sex crimes are placed on the register indefinitely.
That means they have to notify the authorities of any change of address or name and any foreign travel plans.
But Lord Justice Dyson said it was 'disproportionate' to keep an offender's name on it forever.
The court ruled the 2003 Sexual Offenders Act was incompatible with a criminal's right to a private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Yesterday the Home Office announced it would appeal against the ruling which legal experts predict will force Parliament to change the law.
Once that happens, thousands of sex offenders will be able to demand reviews of their cases and that their names be removed from the register and police databases.
There are currently 31,392 sex offenders on the register.
Furious campaigners last night blasted the decision.
Spokesman for the National Victims' Association Neil Atkinson said: 'It's an appalling decision.