12:19pm Wednesday 29th December 2010
By Court Reporter »
A former Hertfordshire County Council legal chief has appeared in court on child pornography charges.
Andrew Laycock, 58, is alleged to have been found with more than 5,000 indecent images of children on a home computer.
The former county secretary faces 22 allegations of downloading indecent images of children and distribution of indecent images of children.
He is also charged with possessing extreme pornographic images involving adults and animals.
Miss Rifia Khatum, prosecuting at Hertford Magistrates’ Court today (Wednesday) said the allegations date back to June, 22 after a search warrant was executed at Laycock’s home in Mandeville Road, Hertford.
The prosecution allege a total of 5,703 indecent images of children were discovered on the hard drive of an Apple Mac computer.
The majority, more than 4,000, were of level one in seriousness, but there were also said to be 367 level four images and 78 of level five – depicting the most serious sexual offences against children.
The defendant, dressed in a dark suit and blue spotted tie, stood with his eyes fixed to the floor as each of the 22 charges were put by the court clerk.
No pleas were entered and chairman of the bench Keith Smith adjourned the case for committal to St Albans Crown Court.
Laycock was released on bail to appear at Hertford Magistrates Court on February 25 for the committal hearing.
Conditions of bail prohibit Laycock acquiring software designed to delete Internet history.
He is also banned from viewing pornography of any kind and must allow police access to any computer he has used.
A fourth condition prohibits contact with any child under the age of 16 – apart from inadvertently – unless in the presence of parent, guardian or other appropriate adult.