A local newspaper publisher has appeared in court charged with possessing more than 72,000 indecent images of children.
Kevin Skaith, (38), appeared before Lincoln magistrates on Friday charged with 24 separate offences relating to 72,864 photographs.
Skaith, who publishes the independent Lincoln-based newspaper the Lincolnshire Gazette, faces 20 charges of making indecent photographs of children between October 7, 1999 and March 21, 2004.
Bernie Redmond, prosecuting, said the charges, under the Protection of Children Act 1978, refer to all five of the legally defined categories of child images, including the most serious.
Two of those charges, relating to August 8, 2003 and March 13, 2003, refer to him allegedly making indecent photographs by means of a moving image. The other four charges relate to the possession of indecent images of children.
On June 10, 2004, Skaith was allegedly in possession of 45,831 photographs on a collection of CDs and a further 1,723 photographs on a computer hard drive.
On September 23, 2003 he was also allegedly in possession of 23,407 photographs on a collection of CDs and a further 1,883 photographs on a computer hard drive.
Appearing in court for the first time on the charges, Skaith – who used to work in pre-press production at the Lincolnshire Echo – spoke only to confirm his name, age and address. No plea was entered and he was released on unconditional bail. Magistrates are expected to send the case to Lincoln Crown Court.
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