Ex-Telegraph journalist Ben Leapman appears at Dartford Magistrates' Court on child abuse charges
Leapman appeared at Dartford Magistrates' Court
by Alan Watkins
A journalist who helped expose MPs fiddling their expenses has
appeared at Dartford Magistrates' Court accused of internet child
Ben Leapman, former deputy news editor of the Sunday Telegraph,
spent four years battling to get the House of Commons to come clean
on their spending.
He was also blogging widely on the Daily Telegraph and Sunday
Telegraph websites before leaving the company in December.
He has been remanded on bail after being charged with possessing
and publishing obscene and pornographic articles on an internet
Leapman gave his full name as Benjamin Nathan Leapman, of
Aldebert Terrace, South Lambeth, Vauxhall.
Kent Police said officers from the force arrested Leapman on
Monday, November 26.
North Kent magistrates adjourned the case until March 18 when
committal proceedings to Maidstone Crown Court are due to take
place. He has not entered a plea.
Leapman, 42, spoke to give his name, address, and birth date.
The allegations relate to nine offences over a period from July 13,
2008 to November 26, 2011 - one which is said to have involved
discussing the abuse of a child of pre-school age.
One of these charges was put to him at his court appearance this
week. It alleged that on November 26 he possessed an extreme
pornographic image that was grossly offensive, disgusting or
otherwise of an obscene nature.
The remaining charges relate to publishing obscene articles on a
"chat log" (four charges) and four offences of making indecent
photographs of children - one at the second highest level.
Jenny Yale, prosecuting, said the case was outside the court's
It is understood to be only the second case involving chat logs
in this country. It follows a test case heard at Maidstone Crown
Court before Judge Philip St John-Stevens.
He said questions were raised about whether a log on the
internet seen by one person could be considered an obscene
The court amended Leapman's bail conditions to enable him to use
a computer "for legal recreation and work purposes".