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Last Updated: Monday, 6 September, 2004, 15:39 GMT 16:39 UK
Ex-mayor cleared of porn charges
Chris Morgan and wife Nikki arriving at court
Mr Morgan with his wife Nikki at an earlier hearing
A former Tory mayor of North Tyneside has been cleared of downloading indecent images of children.

Christopher Morgan, 34, had denied five sample counts of making an indecent photograph of a boy under 16 between March 1999 and March 2003.

On Monday, the third day of the case, the jury at Hull Crown Court found him not guilty of all charges.

Mr Morgan, of Tynedale Avenue, Whitley Bay, stepped down as mayor last year. The case centred on 59 computer images.

A statement issued by solicitors, Wallsend-based Hays and Kilner, on behalf of Mr Morgan spoke of his anger over the case.

'Huge sadness'

It said: "Mr Morgan's relief is of course tempered by feelings of anger and frustration at the charges being levelled against him in the first place.

"The proceedings have brought huge personal and professional costs, not least his resignation from the post of Mayor of North Tyneside, a step he took with huge sadness."

The court heard how the images had been found on Mr Morgan's personal computer.

But the statement added: "Mr Morgan always denied absolutely any knowledge of the existence of child pornography on his computer system.

"He was horrified to learn of its presence and as keen as the police to resolve how the material came to be there.

The case has necessitated the instruction of highly technical experts who were able to demonstrate that Mr Morgan was not responsible for looking at, downloading or storing the indecent material."

In the statement, Mr Morgan thanked his wife Nikki, and his friends and family for standing by him.





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SEE ALSO:
Ex-mayor's child porn trial opens
02 Sep 04  |  Tyne/Wear
Former mayor on child porn charges
08 Sep 04  |  Tyne/Wear


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