Darlington sex assault councillor Mark Burton jailed for 22 months

JAILED: Councillor Mark Burton

JAILED: Councillor Mark Burton

First published in Crime News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by

A SHAMED councillor was this afternoon jailed for 22 months for possessing vile child pornography and sexually assaulting a girl as he held a party to celebrate an election win.

Mark Burton, 43, was also put on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years and banned indefinitely from having unsupervised contact with under-16s.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the married father-of-three undressed and touched a schoolgirl in May last year, hours after he held onto his seat on Darlington Borough Council.

Burton said in a letter, read out to court, that he had made "a terrible mistake" in drink.

But Judge Howard Crowson said he could not accept that, because of the images that were found.

The judge said the indecent pictures, found by police after his arrest for the sex attack, showed a "deeper motive".

Burton, of Middleham Road, Darlington, admitted charges of sexual assault and possessing indecent images at an earlier hearing.

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