Ex Parish Council Chair admits child sex offences

Mark McCormick

Mark McCormick

A former Bursledon parish councillor, has pleaded guilty to rape and multiple charges involving indecent assaults on children.

Appearing at Southampton Crown Court yesterday, Mark McCormick, 49, of Griffon Close, Bursledon, admitted raping a 16-year-old girl, multiple incidents of indecent assault on  children, and one count of taking indecent photographs of a child.

McCormick, a mobile DJ and entertainer, was first elected to Bursledon Parish Council in 2011 and committed the offences between 2009 and 2014. Twice elected as Chair of the Parish Council, he chaired the council during a bitter dispute with the previous trustees of Bursledon District Community Association (BDCA), over how the Lowford Community Centre should be managed.

Last March police raided the parish council offices and seized computer equipment. Shortly afterward McCormick resigned from the council and in October 2017 he was charged with sex offences.

In a statement on her website, Eastleigh MP Mims Davies said her heart went out to the “brave victims who came forward” adding:

“His despicable crimes have shocked the local community and feelings are understandably running high today. It’s quite clear McCormick now faces a substantial time in prison for his appalling conduct. This is something that must be a relief to all his victims and their loved ones.

“I would also like to thank Hampshire police for the work they have done to investigate and bring to court this complex case.

“There are questions to be answered as to why this man was able to be in the heart of the community for so long and commit these awful crimes.”

Judge Nicholas Rowland remanded McCormick in custody and warned him that he would be facing a lengthy custodial sentence when he returns to court on October 12.