A FORMER Labour council candidate has been accused of sexually abusing a child.

Adam Buckenham stood in the Andover Downlands ward in the Test Valley Borough Council elections in 2019.

He is also the former chairman of the Picket Twenty Neighbourhood Watch.

He has been charged with 20 offences, including child sexual abuse, rape, taking indecent photographs of a child and voyeurism.

The 45-year-old, who now lives on the Isle of Wight, is alleged to have incited the child, who cannot be named for legal reasons, to engage in sexual activity, including kissing, groping and oral sex.

He is further charged with three counts of rape.

Buckenham, of York Road in Ventnor, is also accused of three counts of taking indecent photographs of the child, and one count of recording them performing a private act without consent.

He did not enter a plea to any of the charges when appearing at Basingstoke Magistrates' Court on Thursday morning, and will next appear at Winchester Crown Court on February 10.

When he stood for election to TVBC in 2019, Buckenham secured 190 votes.

It saw him record the least amount of votes in the ward, which includes the areas of Picket Piece, Picket Twenty and Andover Down, and lose out to the two Conservative candidates.

Neighbourhood Watch is a network of residents that share crime prevention advice and alert each other to suspicious activity in their area.

  • Children can contact Childline 24/7 on 0800 1111. Adults concerned about the wellbeing of a child can phone the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 8005000 or email help@nspcc.org.uk.