Thursday, June 26, 2008

Conservative Paedophile sentenced

A FORMER Councillor has escaped jail for downloading thousands of child porn images.

Peter O'Brian, 46, formally of Drakes Way, Hatfield, was given a three year community order today at Cheshunt Magistrates Court and is attending rehabilitation for his sick addiction.

The ex-councillor pleaded guilty to 11 counts of making indecent images of children and two counts of possessing indecent images of children.

The paedophile was arrested at Stanstead Airport in October, after the images were discovered on a council computer while he was on holiday.

A police investigation revealed more than 6,000 images and movies on the laptop of the former chairman of Welwyn Hatfield Conservative Association and representative for Welham Green.

Detective Inspector Paul Doran, head of the Paedophile Unit, said: "We treat images depicting the abuse of children extremely seriously and will always take action against those responsible.

"Viewing or downloading images of this nature is not a victimless crime - those children have been exploited and are victims. "Despite O'Brien holding an important position in the community, he thought it was acceptable to view these images when it was clearly not.

"By admitting the offences he has gone some way in acknowledging his actions were unacceptable and he has made a positive step by attending a rehabilitation programme to manage his sexual interest."

O'Brien has also been given a Sexual Offences Prevention Order which bans him from buying or using software which would remove evidence of his activity on a computer.

He has also been disqualified from working with children, fined £300 in costs and ordered to sign the Sex Offenders' register.

Paul added: "I would like to express my thanks to Welwyn and Hatfield Council who have supported us through our investigation and I am grateful for their co-operation."


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Conservative - Drink Driving

07:00 - 16 June 2008

A councillor convicted of drink-driving has apologised to his Clevedon constituents for letting them down.

Stanley Vyce, pictured, a Conservative member of North Somerset Council, was stopped by police at 5.15am on May 24 after returning from a party in Bristol.

At a hearing at North Somerset Magistrates' Court, it was revealed that 28-year-old Mr Vyce, of Newlands Green, Clevedon, had 52 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath - the limit is 35mg.

He pleaded guilty to drink-driving and was banned from driving for a year. He was also ordered to pay a £250 fine, a £15 victim surcharge and £60 costs.

Mr Vyce, who has been suspended from North Somerset's Conservative group in line with national party rules, said he was sorry for what he had done and felt embarrassed and humiliated by his court appearance.

He apologised to residents who voted for him in last May's elections.

Mr Vyce had been out with work friends in Bristol on the night he was stopped by police in Northern Way, Clevedon. They had visited a restaurant and a bar before going back to a friend's house.

The councillor, who joined the Conservative party at the age of 16 while a student at Backwell School, said: "I did not believe I was over the limit when I drove home.

"I did have a drink of Blackthorn cider but was also drinking soft drinks and the test showed I was about two-thirds of a pint over the legal limit.

"I feel very stupid about what has happened. I am really sorry and want to apologise to the local people who voted for me.

"This was a strong Labour seat and the people of the town put their trust and belief in me and the Conservative party, and I feel I have let them down."

Mr Vyce, a pensions administrator, said it was difficult to attend meetings without a car so he was reconsidering his position as a councillor for the town's central ward.

Council leader Nigel Ashton said the Conservative group would discuss Mr Vyce's drink-drive conviction at its meeting on Tuesday.


Friday, June 13, 2008

UKIP Candidate on rape charges

A FORMER royal butler has been charged with 18 sex offences against boys.

Paul Kidd, of Grasscroft Road, Stalybridge, has been accused of rape, indecent assault and sexual assault.

He appeared before Tameside Magistrates yesterday and was remanded in custody, but will making an application for bail tomorrow.

Kidd, 54, stood for election as a UK Independent Party candidate in Dukinfield and Stalybridge last year and received 283 votes - 9.7 per cent.

Some of the alleged offences go back three decades but others are recent.


In a statement Greater Manchester Police, who have conducted a three-month inquiry, said: "A 54-year-old man has been charged with 18 offences after allegations of child abuse were made against him.

"Paul Kidd has been charged with nine counts of rape, four counts of gross indecency, two counts of indecent assault and three of sexual assault.

"The charges relate to an historic report received by the police that a man who is now 41 had been sexually assaulted in 1981. A 17-year-old boy also alleges he was abused."

Police seized a computer allegedly containing more than 1,000 images of suspected child porn.

John Cooke, a spokesman for the Tameside branch of UKIP, said: "Last year Mr Kidd stood in Stalybridge and did very well for us. He came third and it cost the Tories a seat they were hoping to take from Labour.

"He is very well known in Stalybridge and well liked. These charges against him have come as a huge shock, the party knew nothing about it.

"He was not intending to stand for us this year as he has been ill and is due to go into hospital for an operation.

"As part of his work doing talks about his time with the Royal Family he does a lot of cruises."

Kidd appears on a website for after-dinner speakers and his fee is set at £2,000 to £4,000.

After leaving school he joined the Royal Navy as a silver service waiter looking after the captain and officers.


In 1976, he was appointed butler to the Queen at Buckingham Palace and served there for six years until he transferred to Clarence House to serve the Queen Mother as senior footman.

In 1979 he was awarded the Most Noble Order of Merit by the West German President on a state visit. He is one of only 32 people in the world to hold the award.

He met and looked after three US presidents and every King and Queen in Europe.

In 1985 he had to end his royal service due to illness - but made a complete recovery.

He has appeared on television chat shows in Britain and the US.

Kidd was arrested in London.


Labour - Drink driving

A SENIOR councillor at the centre of a drink-driving investigation was today suspended from the Labour Party.
Coun Eddie McAtominey was arrested after a crash in Victoria Road West, Hebburn, on Monday night.

He is one of the longest-serving members of South Tyneside Council, and the borough's representative on Northumbria Police Authority,

Coun McAtominey, representative for Hebburn South, was heading towards his home in Sullivan Walk, Hebburn, when he was involved in what police called "a minor crash."

He was arrested on suspicion of drink driving, and taken to South Shields police station.

Coun McAtominey today denied the allegations and said he'd 'fight' them.

But this afternoon, Neil Fleming, spokesman for Labour North, said: "As of this morning, Coun Eddie McAtominey has been suspended from the Labour Party.

"That means he can hold no office within the party until the investigation is complete."


Thursday, June 05, 2008

Conservative MEP - Expense Claims

Giles Chichester has resigned as leader of David Cameron's Conservative Euro MPs after breaking European Parliament rules on political expenses.

He threw in the towel after facing an ultimatum from Mr Cameron to justify channelling more than £400,000 in staff allowances to a family business of which he is a paid director.

Mr Chichester stayed on as a Tory MEP, but stepped down from the top job to limit embarrassment to Mr Cameron - who had asked him only three months ago to clean up Tory MEP allowances in the wake of a scandal at Westminster over MP Derek Conway.

In a statement, the Conservative Party said Mr Chichester stepped down after chairman Caroline Spelman asked him to provide a full explanation of the arrangements put in place to fund his staff.

Mr Chichester chose to step down with immediate effect to prepare his report to the European Parliament authorities, said the party.

Mr Cameron said: "Giles Chichester is right to stand down as leader of our MEPs to prepare a full explanation of how his office is funded.

"Just as I expect our MPs to adhere to the highest standards, so must our MEPs.

"The tax-paying public have a right to know how their money is being spent and politicians have a duty to ensure it is spent properly."

Deputy leader Philip Bushill-Matthews will take over as acting leader.