A Conservative Party campaigns manager has appeared in court charged with a string of offences relating to indecent images of children.
Mark Andrew Lerigo, 49, is accused of eight counts including the making, distribution and possession of child abuse images.
Yesterday he appeared before Coventry Magistrates’ Court where no indication of plea was given and the case was adjourned until July 24.
Wearing, a light blue checked shirt and dark blue trousers, Lerigo covered his face after he left court following the short hearing.
The former Conservative Party Midlands regional press officer will next appear at Warwick Crown Court.
Lerigo, of William Bristow Road, in Coventry, was suspended from the party after the allegations came to light.
2017 general election
He was a campaign manager for the Tories at the 2017 general election and for the Britain Stronger In Europe group during the EU referendum.
He is charged with two counts of distributing indecent images of children, three counts of making indecent images of children, two counts of possession of images and one count of publishing an obscene article.
A spokeswoman for the National Crime Agency (NCA) said previously: “A campaign manager for the Conservative Party has been charged with online child sexual abuse offences after a NCA investigation.
“Mark Lerigo, 49, of Coventry will appear at the city’s magistrates’ court on 25 June to face two counts of distributing indecent images of children, three counts of making indecent images of children, one count of possessing extreme pornography involving animals, one count of possessing prohibited images of children and one count of publishing an obscene article.”
A Conservative Party spokesman said: “Mr Lerigo has been suspended from the party with immediate effect, pending the outcome of judicial proceedings.”