Former Kingston Council leader attends crown court over indecent child images charges


Derek Osbourne was arrested in June.


By Jack Crone

Ex-Kingston Council leader, Derek Osbourne, appeared at Southwark Crown Court this morning facing multiple charges of child pornography offences.

Mr Osbourne, 59, of Burlington Road, New Malden, was leader of Kingston Council for over ten years before being arrested at his home on June 11. The following morning, he contacted his party’s head office at Guildhall and offered his resignation from leadership, the party and from the council.

After appearing at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court on September 6, the defendant, represented by Bedford Row barrister Michael Neofytou, had his preliminary hearing at 10am today.

The ex-council leader, who is married with two children, is yet to offer a plea but currently faces five counts of possessing indecent images of children, five counts of distributing indecent images of children, and one count of possession of extreme pornography. This is said to include fifty images falling under the level five category – the most extreme possible.

The former Liberal Democrat was first elected as a councillor in 1986 and moved swiftly up the political ranks before becoming deputy council leader in 1994.

He first served as leader from 1997 to 1998 before being elected again in 2003 and was also a Parliamentary candidate for Kingston upon Thames in 1992 opposing the then chancellor Norman Lamont.

The defendant will return to Southwark Crown Court on October 1, where he is expected to offer a plea. 

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