Senior Yorkshire councillor admits posting porn on Twitter

Coun Steven Bayes
Coun Steven Bayes
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A senior councillor has admitted posting pornographic images on his Twitter account - which had the handle @Satan666Lord.

Coun Steve Bayes, whose Twitter account name was Lord of Darkness, told Hull Crown Court that he kept the images in a desktop folder Steven Pictures/Despicable that he would post onto Twitter.

"It was primarily porn, but not exclusively and I wasn't the only person who posted onto it," he added.

Mr Bayes, 56, said it "wasn't violent porn particularly." Asked by the Judge Recorder Woolfall to explain, he said: "There would be images maybe of somebody tying, imaginative rope tying around a torso that would come out in the shape of a pentagram."

However Mr Bayes, who was a nurse at Hull Royal Infirmary and Cabinet member on Hull Council until he was suspended in 2016, said he "never" posted extreme images on Twitter "and didn't have ta reason to download them."

Mr Bayes denies two counts of making indecent images of a child and one of possessing extreme pornographic images.

Images - including nine still images and three movies in the most serious Category A - originated from two iPads, which were backed up onto his laptop and only revealed during a forensic examination.

He said one had been handed back to his employer the Co-op in 2014. When police raided his home in August 2016, the other iPad was in a flat upstairs.

Neither has been recovered.

He said he hadn't told officers where the second iPad was because the police didn't ask for it.

"I didn't offer it to them as it was a shared device as was the laptop," he added.

Cross-examining, prosecutor Claire Holmes questioned him about a statement made to police in which he admitted "sometimes" coming across indecent images of children on the Internet.

Asked how many times he "stumbled" across them, he said: "Not often..less than 10."

He said there had been nothing to see on his laptop and if he had known there were indecent images "I would probably have dropped it into the sea off a North Sea Ferry. It's like kryptonite - you don't want anything to do with it."

He said a man he knew had access to his iPad and laptop, who told him he and some of his acquaintances had viewed extreme images on his laptop.

The court heard glowing character references from fellow councillors and people he worked with at Hull Royal Infirmary as a "trusted and reliable friend" "who treats patients with dignity and respect" at the closing of his defence case.

The trial continues.