A former deputy mayor of Peterborough has appeared in court accused of downloading a large amount of “extreme” child pornography.
John Johnson (62), of Deerleap, Bretton, who was deputy mayor between 1999 and 2000 appeared at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court on Monday.
Johnson, who was a Labour councillor for North Bretton between May 1995 and January 2001, has been charged with making 714 indecent images of children.
He is accused of downloading six level-five images of a child, which is the most extreme level of pornography in legal classification terms.
Johnson, who made his name as a determined anti-hunt campaigner, is also accused of downloading 546 indecent images at level one, 15 at level two, 82 at level three and 65 at level four.
Dressed in a grey suit with a tie and wearing glasses, Johnson spoke only to confirm his name and details during the five-minute court hearing.
He listened intently as the charge against him was read out and did not enter a plea.
Prosecutor Giles Beaumont said: “This charge relates to some extreme level pornography. Some images involve adult males with various animals.”
Magistrate Michael Flanagan said: “I am going to decline jurisdiction in this instance.
“This case will be heard before a crown court.”
Johnson was released on unconditional bail to return to Peterborough Magistrates’ Court on November 6.
He gained publicity as a councillor in 1998 for taking part in pioneering “roving surgeries”.