Child porn charges of acclaimed gardener

Damian Jenkinson
Damian Jenkinson

WIGAN Council’s one-time gardening poster boy is to face a judge and jury over a catalogue of child porn charges.

Damian Jenkinson, the former face and co-ordinator of the local authority’s hugely successful Borough in Bloom crusades, was sent to Liverpool Crown Court after appearing before Wigan and Leigh magistrates.

The 28-year-old, of Liverpool Road, Platt Bridge, was in the dock accused of making or possessing 632 indecent images of children, more than half of which fall into the most serious category: A.

These are grouped into 22 separate offences, 19 of which concern having indecent images of children in his possession and three relating to making such images, although one of these latter charges alone relates to the creation of 165 images.

Jenkinson did not enter a plea at the magistrates’ court and was given conditional bail.

The bench told him he must not have any unsupervised contact with a child under the age of 16 or a vulnerable adult and bailed him to the address in Platt Bridge.

He will now appear at Liverpool Crown Court for a plea and case management hearing on April 7.

Terry Dunn, Wigan Council’s director of environment, said: “Due to the serious nature of the allegation we took immediate action and this individual is no longer an employee of the council.

“We have fully supported the police investigation and will continue to do so.

“It would be inappropriate to comment further as court proceedings are under way.”

Jenkinson has been a rising star of the horticultural world.

He made his mark as part of a college team which won Best in Show at Tatton Park, was a runner-up in the BBC’s Young Gardener of the Year competition and later became an ambassador for the Royal Horticultural Society.

He is credited with the huge successes enjoyed by the borough in recent years in both the regional and national In Bloom contests, turning unlikely outsiders from an unfashionable industrial area into highly impressive contenders.