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Man of God backs Beverley porncoder

As local MP lays into Hull Daily Mail

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A church official has come out in support of Paul Smith - the owner of Beverley news website HU17.net who was sensationally revealed by the Hull Daily Mail to have coded "thousands" of porn websites.

Smith's previous form, exposed by the Mail, includes sites such as Teen Sex and Hot Nude Teens, some of which treat visitors to "images of women dressed as schoolgirls being spanked".

To determine that Smith was still porncoding while running a website which features "photographs of junior sports fixtures"*, the paper dispatched a reporter posing as an escort girl to see what Smith could do for her, and he agreed to design a website for between 150 and 250 quid.

When the story broke yesterday, the Mail had Beverley Mayor David Elvidge on hand to gasp: "I was not aware of the websites he has designed. I am speechless."

Stephen Parnaby, the leader of East Riding Council, which recently sent out a press release "urging community groups in the town to send event details to Mr Smith", said: "The council did not know about his past. Clearly, if we did, there would be something wrong. It's not the reputation that I would want to endorse about Beverley and/or tourism."

However, Beverley Minster virger Neil Pickford was unimpressed with the scandalmongering. In a follow-up piece today, he told the Mail: "HU17.net is very worthwhile and we've found Paul to be an extremely enthusiastic promoter of life and events in Beverley. We are happy to continue supplying information to the website in the future."

The Mail's original piece also noted that Smith "has advised Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart over technical aspects of his website". Stuart thundered today: "I think it's absolutely disgraceful and appalling to run a story like that mentioning me in the second paragraph without getting in touch with me. It is a sleazy unpleasant story that attacks a bloke running a Beverley website."

Stuart's opinion of this piece of investigative journalism is shared by many Hull Daily Mail commenters, who have not spared the horses in giving the paper a righteous shoeing. One wrote: "What a total non story! This man has done nothing illegal and runs a perfectly legitimate web design business. There is no question that any of these sites host illegal material so where is the story?

"This story is a disgrace to journalism and shows just what depths the HDM has now sunk to in an effort to retain readers. Here's one more reader then HDM can say goodbye to!"

Another chipped in with: "I have just read about this on another site and have to say that I will be reporting you to the Press Complaints Office.

"This person is obviously a very talented web designer who works hard and is doing nothing wrong unlike the so called journalists who supposedly work for the piece of toilet paper that is the HDM."

Down at the Hull Daily Mail, meanwhile, it's business as usual in the classified ads, where readers are today invited to call "HELAINE discreet Escort" or "LILY Heaven, young, attractive" for a "friendly massage".

Sounds fun, and if these girls need a quick website knocking up, the Mail knows just the man for the job. ®

Bootnote

*Interestingly, the Mail today once again stresses: "Launched last year, HU17.net has photographs of junior sports fixtures as well as news events."

It now, however, adds: "It includes images taken by Mr Smith."

One reader classifies this as "a pathetic veiled attempt by the HDM to make people alarmed that someone associated with the legal, adult porn industry is photographing children!!"

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