Leeds & West Yorkshire

Ex-Lord Mayor Neil Taggart jailed over indecent child images

Neil Taggart
Image caption Neil Taggart was the Lord Mayor of Leeds in 2003

A former Lord Mayor of Leeds has been jailed for 32 months after making and distributing indecent photographs of children.

The judge at Leeds Crown Court said Neil Taggart's once high reputation in the community now "lay in the gutter".

Taggart, who also served as a West Yorkshire Police Authority chairman and city councillor, pleaded guilty to eight child sex offences in June.

The offences were committed between 2010 and 2016.

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Taggart, 65, of Marlowe Court, Garforth, served as the city's Lord Mayor in 2003.

He was a Labour councillor for more than 30 years before being deselected by the party in October 2013 ahead of the 2014 election.

Taggart was suspended in October when the party became aware of the allegations he was facing, and was sacked after admitting the offences.

The charges:

  • Three counts of making indecent photographs of children
  • Three counts of distributing indecent photographs of children
  • Possession of prohibited images of children
  • Possession of extreme pornographic images

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) said Taggart was "just one of the growing number of offenders caught using the internet to access child abuse images".

"Every child in his sickening catalogue of images has suffered abuse in the real world", a spokesman said.

The NSPCC called for technology companies, government and law enforcement to commit "resources and expertise to prevent it being published".

Det Supt Pat Twiggs, of West Yorkshire Police, said: "Offenders like Taggart, who seek out and distribute abusive images of children for the sexual gratification of themselves and others, play a significant role in the continuation of the appalling real-life abuse that these images capture.

"The crimes he pleaded guilty to represent a high volume of images - many of the most serious kind - and cover a significant period of time."

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