Ex-council leader Derek Osbourne jailed over child abuse images

A former Liberal Democrat council leader who admitted possessing images of child abuse has been jailed for two years.

Derek Osbourne, 59, who stepped down as leader of Kingston upon Thames, south-west London, in June, was told that the public interest “cries out for custody” and he must register as a sex offender for the next 10 years.

Judge Alistair McCreath, sitting at Southwark crown court, told him: “This imagery is of real children, suffering real abuse.

“Of course you did not perpetrate that abuse directly yourself, but you and others like you are complicit it, because without people to look at it, there would be no point in doing it.”

Osbourne was first elected as a councillor in 1986 before becoming leader between 1997 and 1998, and again in 2003.

He was a parliamentary candidate for Kingston upon Thames in 1992, fighting the then chancellor Norman Lamont.

Osbourne, of New Malden, south-west London, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to seven counts of making indecent images of children, four counts of possession of indecent images of children and six counts of distributing indecent images of children.

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