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INDECENT CHILD PHOTOS LEAD TO FOUR-YEAR BAN FOR FORMER COUNCILLOR

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David Smith, a former member of Suffolk Coastal DC and Felixstowe Town Council, has been disqualified from being or...
David Smith, a former member of Suffolk Coastal DC and Felixstowe Town Council, has been disqualified from being or becoming a member for four years, following a hearing by The Adjudication Panel for England.

The hearing followed an investigation by The Standards Board for England into an allegation that Mr Smith had breached the councillors' code of conduct by making indecent photographs of a child under the age of 16. The panel agreed with the finding by the Board's ethical standards officer that, by his actions, Mr Smith had brought his office and his authorities into disrepute.

Mr Smith was charged by the police with ten counts of downloading indecent photographs of a child between April 2002 and July 2003. Mr Smith initially pleaded not guilty to the charges, but accepted a police caution on 12 January 2004 and admitted two of the offences. Mr Smith has been placed on the sex offenders register for five years.

Anthony Holland, chair of The Standards Board for England, said:

'We welcome this decision by the panel. The public should have confidence that members live up to the high standards expected of them. Those who fall short and tarnish the good work done by the vast majority of members must be brought to account.'

Mr Smith resigned from both authorities on 9 February 2004.

Notes

The Standards Board for England is responsible for promoting high ethical standards and investigating allegations that members' behaviour may have fallen short of the required standards.

The Adjudication Panel for England, which is an independent body, holds hearings to reach determination and imposes sanctions on local authority members who have been subject to investigation by The Standards Board for England.

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