Still no answers as council paedophile inquiry enters its third year

Paedophile: Derek Osbourne arrives at court for sentencing in 2012 (Photo: Copyright Rex Features Ltd)
Derek Osbourne arrives at court to be sentenced in October 2013
(Photo: Copyright Rex Features Ltd)

Kingston Council’s internal investigation into the conduct of its ex-leader, convicted paedophile Derek Osbourne, is still not finished two and a half years after it began – despite its original six-month deadline.

Liberal Democrat council leader Osbourne resigned after his June 2013 arrest and later that year pleaded guilty to possessing, making and distributing indecent images of children which his judge described as stomach-turning. He was also convicted of possessing extreme pornographic material.

Kingston’s head of corporate governance Andrew Bessant told the Kingston Courier: “The work of the council’s inquiry is not yet complete and I am afraid I am not able to provide a copy of any report as to its outcome.”

The inquiry was commissioned by the council’s finance and policy committee and officially began in July 2014.

A budget of £10,000 was earmarked for the investigation, which was due to report its findings in December 2014.

Bessant was responding to a Kingston Courier Freedom of Information request seeking access to the findings of the council’s inquiry.

Efforts to contact Osbourne, who served as a councillor for 27 years, received no response. Osbourne was sentenced to two years in prison in October 2013, and released in October 2014, having served half his sentence.

He is still under a court order banning him from accessing interactive sex websites and in May 2016 admitted to breaching it, this time walking free from court with a suspended sentence.

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