Child care expert fined over photographs of naked boys

A LEADING expert in residential childcare was fined pounds 900 yesterday when he admitted importing and possessing illegal homosexual pornographic material.

Magistrates at Evesham, Worcestershire, heard that the material included copies of a recognised paedophile magazine and photographs of young boys under the age of 16 posing partly dressed or naked. Peter Righton, 66, of Badsey Road, Evesham, admitted two illegal importation charges and one charge of possessing obscene material. He was ordered to pay pounds 75 costs and the magistrates ordered that the magazines should be destroyed.

The chairman of the bench, Robert Rowland, told him: 'We are aware that you are of previous good character, but we think these are serious matters and the penalty we impose must reflect that.'

Righton, a former consultant to the National Children's Bureau whose patrons include the Secretary of State for Health, Virginia Bottomley, is known as Peter but appeared in court under his real forenames, Paul Pelham.

He has been a lecturer at the National Institute for Social Work in London, and has worked with the Open University advising social-work managers on the rights of children in care. Gordon Smith, for the prosecution, said that a book and a magazine containing pictures of young men were intercepted by Customs officers at the Dover postal depot in April. The packages were addressed to Righton.

The following month, the police raided his home and found one copy of a magazine called The Stud Boys and three copies of a paedophile magazine, Ben.

John Warner, for the defence, said there was no suggestion that any of the material had been bought for anything other than the defendant's personal use, and it was not hard-core pornography.

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