LABOUR Councillor Appears In Court Charged With Child Sex Offences

A LABOUR Councillor from Cumbria has pleaded not guilty to two charges relating to alleged child sex offences.

William Kirkbride, 57, has been charged with arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence, and trying to communicate sexually with a child he was said to have thought was 14 “for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification”.

Kirkbride, who was suspended by the Labour Party upon the allegations being revealed, denies both charges and is due to stand trial in May 2022.

William James Kirkbride
WIlliam Kirkbride leaving court after denying both charges

Yesterday, however, a pretrial hearing resulted in Mr Kirkbride, who represented the Harbour ward on Copeland Borough Council, being granted bail.

Judge Nicholas Barker ruled he must not have any unsupervised contact with any child under 18 and must not use the internet to communicate with anyone aged under 18.

VoteWatch will update in due course.

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