January 2004

Child porn download councillor banned

A councillor found guilty of downloading and storing indecent images of children on his council computer has been disqualified from standing for office for five years.

Tory Chris Pilkington, who lives in Shipston, was re-elected for the Vale of the Red Horse ward, which includes Tysoe, Edgehill, Whatcote and Pillerton Priors, with a 384 majority in May 2002

The local authority standards watchdog, the Standards Board for England, found Christopher Pilkington guilty of breaching the councillors’ code of conduct and bringing the authority into disrepute.

The Conservative councillor resigned from Stratford on Avon district council in August 2002 after a council technician discovered the illegal material while fixing Mr Pilkington’s computer.

Town hall bosses reported the matter to the police and the councillor received a police caution for possessing indecent images of children under 16 years. He was also placed on the sex offenders register for five years.

Sir Anthony Holland, chairman of the standards board, welcomed the verdict.

“There are approaching 100,000 people who give their time to serve as members of local authorities,” he said. “It is their reputation that is damaged by this sort of unacceptable behaviour.”