June 2011

Ex-councillor Adrian Cirket admits child pornography charges

A former Labour councillor who downloaded child pornography from the internet was shopped to police by his partner.

Adrian Cirket, 54, was arrested after the mother of three of his five children, spotted the illegal cache on his laptop computer.

But Botswana-born Titose – who sat in the public gallery at Canterbury Crown Court to see her lover sentenced, won the praise from a judge.

Recorder Stephen Bellamy QC told Cirket, from High Street, Dymchurch: “I want to pay tribute to the courage of your partner who, notwithstanding some pressure from your family not to report the matter, took the unprecedented step of drawing the contents of your computer to the attention of the police.

“At the time you may have been utterly devastated and angry, but you have now seen that she has done you, as well as the public, a great service.

“She is clearly a very special woman. I can’t praise her highly enough. You should cherish that!”

Cirket, who admitted 10 charges of downloading child pornography, was given a three-year community order on the condition he undertake a specialist course to tackle his sex offending.

Forensic experts discovered more than 500 sexual images of children – some as young as five years old – on the ex-councillor’s computer which he had downloaded over three years.

Prosecutor James Bilsland said that some of the images were up to level four – the second highest category.

But Cirket, who was also once a school governor, claimed that although they were downloaded he had not viewed the file containing the more depraved images.

“She is clearly a very special woman. I can’t praise her highly enough…” – Recorder Stephen BellamyFor the past two years, he has been suspended from his job as an operations technician at Dungeness Nuclear Power Station. A decision on his future will be taken soon.

He served on Shepway District Council for eight years until 2003 and then joined St Mary in the Marsh Parish Council.

Oliver Saxby, defending, said Cirket, who sat wringing his hands during the hearing, accepted that he needed help.

“He has shown genuine remorse and feels a real sense of shame.”

The judge told him: “Were it not for people like you, who are willing to consume this degrading and horrendous material, those who distributed it, there would not be so much of it on the Internet.”

The court heard that Cirket had suffered a “near mental breakdown” and had contemplated suicide.

“But I accept that this form of criminality was really not in your character but it was an aberration that arose out of a great deal of stress brought about by very hard work, ” the judge added.

The former trade union official was placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years.