Ex-Herts County Council legal chief on child porn charges

PUBLISHED: 19:04 30 December 2010

Justice

Justice

Archant

FORMER county council legal chief Andrew Laycock has appeared in court on child pornography cases.

Laycock, 58, is alleged to have been found with more than 5,000 indecent images of children on a home computer.

The one-time county secretary faces 22 allegations of downloading indecent images of children and distribution of indecent images of children as well as possession of extreme pornographic images including adults and animals.

Miss Rifia Khatum, prosecuting, told Hertford Magistrates Court yesterday, Wednesday, that the allegations dated back to June 22 when a search warrant was executed at Laycock’s home in Mandeville Road, Hertford.

The prosecution allege a total of 5,703 indecent images of children were discovered on the hard drive of an Apple Mac computer.

The majority, more than 4,000, were of level one seriousness but the prosecution alleges there were also 347 level four images and 78 of level five depicting the most serious sexual offences against children.

No pleas were entered to the 22 charges put by the court clerk as Laycock stood with his eyes fixed to the floor.

Chairman of the bench, Keith Smith, adjourned the case for committal to St Albans Crown Court and Laycock was released on bail to appear for a committal hearing on February 25.

Under the conditions of his bail, he is prohibited from acquiring software designed to delete internet history, barred from viewing pornography of any kind, and must allow police access to any computer he has used.

He is also prohibited from contact with any child under the age 16 apart from inadvertently unless in the presence of parent, guardian or other appropriate adult.

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