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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 December, 2003, 14:56 GMT
Former mayor on child porn charges
Chris Morgan
Chris Morgan was elected mayor of North Tyneside in 2002
A former Conservative mayor has been charged with child pornography offences.

Former North Tyneside mayor, Chris Morgan, 34, has been bailed to appear before magistrates later this month.

Northumbria police said Mr Morgan, who lives in Whitley Bay, is charged with five counts of making indecent images of children.

A police spokesman said: "The alleged offences are contrary to section 11a of the Protection of Children Act, 1978.

"Mr Morgan has been bailed to appear before South Tyneside magistrates on 17 December."

Mr Morgan strenuously denies all of the charges he faces
Solicitor's statement

Mr Morgan's 2002 win in the constituency of the then transport secretary Stephen Byers, brought the Conservatives one of their first mayoral election victories.

Mr Morgan, who denies the allegations, is married and was born in Wallsend, living most of his life in the borough of North Tyneside.

He was educated locally and after studying at the University of Wales became a chartered accountant.

He was a local councillor for the borough's St Mary's ward from 1996 and served as a finance spokesman for North Tyneside Council before the mayoral election.

In a statement issued through his solicitors Mr Morgan said he had maintained from the outset that he was innocent all of the charges.

Damaged reputation

It said: "Chris Morgan has today been charged with five identical offences as a result of the protracted police investigations which first saw him arrested over nine months ago.

"Mr Morgan strenuously denies all of the charges he faces.

"Mr Morgan is of course disappointed to have been charged with the offences he now faces.

"However, having had the accusations hang over him for many months, he now welcomes the opportunity to publicly defend his good name and reputation in court, and remains confident that he will be cleared of any wrongdoing.

"Mr Morgan is naturally frustrated at the length of time the police inquiries have taken and now hopes for a speedy resolution to the court proceedings."



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