We can report that 3 current and former councillors linked with Sunderland Council have been named in sex offence investigations in the past year. This month, Labour Councillor and trade unionist Paul Foy of Gateshead has been formally charged with sexual assault relating to a 2016 accusation The Chronicle reports. Foy, aged 54 has links with Sunderland Council and the infamous TWAFA group of which the Council funds has appeared in the dock at North Tyneside Magistrates Court this month.
Last month, a former Sunderland Labour Councillor Thomas Wright was also charged with crimes of this nature. Wright, is facing eight charges of historic sexual offences against children and is due at South Tyneside Magistrates on November 19th 2019 according to the Sunderland Echo.
These two cases follow Sunderland Labour Cllr Paul Middleton’s guilty plea to “attempting to engage in communication with a child for the purposes of sexual gratification” in January 2019. Middleton, who represented Washington South for Labour plotted to meet a 12 year old for “Naughty fun” but was instead caught in a sting by Police aiming to catch online predators. Judge Tim Gittins sentenced him to four months suspended for 18 months with a three month curfew. He was also made subject to a sexual harm prevention order and must sign the sex offenders register for seven years according to The Chronicle.
A Sunderland For Transparency spokesman said “This is a disturbing trend to say the least. We cannot comment further due to legal reasons, but we have been told by reliable sources that further arrests are going to follow”.