Former Kingston Council leader ‘almost certain’ to face jail after pleading guilty to child pornography offences


Extreme animal porn was also found on Derek Osbourne’s computer


By Jack Crone

Former Kingston Council leader, Derek Osbourne, was told this week that jail is a virtual certainty after pleading guilty to various charges involving child pornography.

The ex-Liberal Democrat, 59, was at Southwark Crown Court, where he admitted to 17 counts of making and distributing images, some involving the abuse of children as young as three.

The married father of two was arrested at his New Malden home in June after police discovered over 5,000 indecent images on his computer. Fifty of these were classed at level five – the most extreme category possible. Yesterday, the court heard that the defendant’s stash also included 89 extreme animal porn pictures alongside 63 movies.

Prosecutor Peter Zinner told the court: “Some of the material depicts children as young as three being subjected to acts of rape and serious sexual violence.

“There was some stomach-churning material of adults engaged in sexual activity with animals.”

After granting the defendant 28 days bail, judge Alistair McCreath said that he would keep an open mind but warned Osbourne not to take any false hope.

“I have to give you the firmest of warnings that it is a virtual certainty that a custodial sentence will follow,” he said.

Theatre-fan Osbourne recently updated his Facebook profile picture, under the username Malvolio Osbourne, to a dated image of himself wearing a knight’s costume. The defendant, who could face up to five years in jail, had also posted a series of cryptic messages on the website describing his predicament.

“Being “inside the system” is fascinating, frightening and frustrating. And expensive,” he posted on June 26.

The next day he updated his status, saying: “One of the frustrations is not being as open as I would like on the twists and turns of the plot.”

Osbourne was first elected as a  councillor in 1986, moving swiftly up the political ranks, before becoming deputy leader in 1994. He was elected leader in 1998, and again in 2003 and sat on many committees including Achieving for Children.

Fellow councillors were shocked and appalled by the revelations.

Osbourne’s successor, Liz Jones, told Kingston Guardian: “The news of his arrest for serious sex charges back in June came as a bolt out of the blue to all of us.

“My thoughts are with all the children that have been exploited in the making of child pornography.”

Osbourne will return to Southwark Crown Court on October 29 for sentencing.

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Picture courtesy of David McKelvey, with thanks

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