March 2010

Wife of child porn offender removed as governor

THE wife of a school governor who kept his position as chairman for 15 months despite being under investigation for possessing child porn has been told she can no longer serve on the board.

Durham County councillor Maureen Potts, who has helped to run West Pelton Primary School for ten years, was told of the decision by the local education authority.

Earlier this month, her husband, Keith, 60, who is a former Labour Party councillor, and served on Chester-le- Street District Council, accepted a police caution for possessing 24 low level indecent images of children.

He must sign on the sex offenders register for two years.

It emerged that he failed to inform authorities of his arrest on November 12, 2008, which would have led to his suspension.

Instead, he continued to serve as the chairman of the board of governors alongside his wife.

Now, neither of them will be involved in the running of the school and are being replaced.

A county council spokesman, said: “The council, following due process, is able to withdraw support for a local authority representative as a school governor through the local ward members.

“The local member for Ouston and Urpeth, Coun Colin Carr withdrew his support in this instance.”

Coun Carr, who said he was not prepared to discuss the reason for the withdrawal of his support, has become a governor at the school.

The Crown Prosecution Service said that none of the images found on Mr Potts’ computer at Edenfield, West Pelton, Chester-le-Street, was connected to pupils at the school.

Mr Potts was the chairman of governors for 27 years, but failed to inform police of his position or Durham County Council of the investigation when he was arrested.

 

On January 26, this year, he was charged with 13 counts of making indecent images of children and remained in his post at the school until his first appearance at Consett Magistrates’ Court on February 9, when he resigned.

A council spokesman said: “The council confirms that Coun Maureen Potts is no longer a governor at West Pelton Primary School as of February 19. Coun Potts remains a county councillor.”

Coun Potts was not available for comment.