Pedophile’s picture used in tourist brochure


A council has been criticised for producing 50,000 tourist brochures featuring the photograph of a paedophile.

David Harper is pictured at a Thomas the Tank Engine ride under the headline “Fun in the Forest”. He is dressed as the Fat Controller, the railway chief in the stories.

Harper, 66, was jailed in November 2007 for eight years after sexually abusing two boys, aged 10 and 12, and hoarding 25,000 pornographic images of children on his computer. One of his victims, a train enthusiast, was abused after meeting the paedophile at the Dean Forest Railway in Lydney, Gloucestershire.

The image was published in the 2009 Forest of Dean visitor guide to promote the attraction. More than 50,000 copies have been sent to tourist offices across the country at a cost of £25,000.

Forest of Dean District Council said that it would be too expensive to replace them. Steve Kendall, its manager for economic development and tourism, said: “As soon as we realised, we ordered all of the images to be destroyed and stopped sending out any further brochures.”

In court Harper, from Monmouth, South Wales, admitted gross indecency with each of the two boys, 11 offences of making indecent images of children and one of distributing an indecent image.