July 2004

Perv kept council kids job

A PERVERT arrested over a horrific stash of child porn was allowed to keep his job by a council — working at a centre for sexually abused kids.

Social services chiefs let Mark Cuskin, 21, continue as a clerk, insisting he had no contact with vulnerable youngsters.

But fury erupted last night after it was revealed he worked in a building where the kids were looked after, had access to highly confidential files about them and helped compile reports on children at risk.

Cuskin was weeks into a six-month contract with South Tyneside Council when police found his hoard of 14,000 videos and images, some showing babies being abused.

Police alerted social services. But he spent five more months in the offices of the Laygate Centre in South Shields until police charged him.

A judge jailed Cuskin, of South Shields, for three years. Bosses said: “He was not at any time in contact with children.”

But a council insider fumed: “It defies belief he was allowed to carry on.”