Councillor David Sprason (pictured), a conservative at Leicestershire County Council, admitted watching the porn film on the laptop after his home DVD player broke.
A deputy council leader has stood down after it emerged he watched a hardcore porn DVD on his work laptop.
Tory David Sprason admitted watching a pornographic movie called She Likes It Rough at home with his wife Sue, 51, who is also a councillor.
But while the cabinet lead member for adults and communities admitted making an ‘error of judgment’ when the couple watched the film at home in bed, he is far from embarrassed about it.
Mr Sprason, 56, yesterday said the film was one of the ‘tools’ the couple used to ‘help’ their relationship.
The DVD was found when Mr Sprason took his laptop to council IT workers for repairs. He said: ‘The laptop crashed and I took it to get it repaired. I should have taken the film out and put it back in its box.
‘I was probably rushing around the next morning and grabbed it before going in to County Hall.
‘Me and the wife use things to help our relationship. That’s one of the tools we use. We both enjoy them. It’s one of those situations that shouldn’t have happened.
‘I’m not embarrassed. There was nothing dodgy about it.
‘It’s the kind of thing that can easily be bought in an adult shop.’
The incident took place in 2007, but has only just come to light after a copy of a confidential letter sent to Mr Sprason by former Leicestershire County Council monitoring officer Elizabeth McCalla was anonymously leaked to a local newspaper.
In the letter, Miss McCalla said the DVD had been sent to the police ‘to ensure it did not contain any unlawful material’.
She said: ‘They subsequently advised me the DVD contained hardcore pornography of the type you might be able to buy in this country, but more likely to buy abroad or over the internet, but that no criminal offence had been committed.’
Although it was considered that Mr Sprason had breached council policy, the letter said the matter was not pursued because the DVD was watched in a private capacity.
Mrs Sprason said of the porn film: ‘Our DVD player broke so we unfortunately used a county council laptop (to watch it).
‘We are a middle-aged couple who love each other as much as we did when we were in our 20s.
‘When you get to middle age, you need a bit of assistance.’
After the DVD was found five years ago, officers at council headquarters checked Mr Sprason’s internet usage and found nothing untoward.
However, Miss McCalla warned him not to view pornography on a county council computer again ‘otherwise I have no alternative but to pursue the matter further’.
Mr Sprason yesterday said he had referred the incident to the Conservative group on the council in order for whips to investigate, after he became aware the letter had been leaked.
He has stepped down as deputy leader but will continue as a councillor while the investigation continues.
The councillor, who represents Markfield, Desford and Thornton, said: ‘Most of the feedback I have had from people is that this is all a storm in a tea cup.
‘If this damages my chances of re-election then so be it but I am honest and straightforward and it is better to be open. I am just an ordinary guy who works hard for his patch and that is what I’ll continue to do.’
Nick Rushton, the council leader, said that under new Conservative group rules introduced following the resignation in July of his predecessor, David Parsons, members were required to either step down or be suspended while an investigation took place to ensure no breach of the party’s rules had taken place.
Mr Rushton said it was imperative the authority was ‘seen to be acting in accordance with the highest standards of conduct’, adding that Mr Sprason had made the ‘right decision, personally and in the interests of the council’s reputation’.
Mr Rushton said he found it ‘disappointing’ that Mr Parsons didn’t ‘deal with this matter properly through the group rules at the time’.
Mr Parsons resigned shortly after it emerged police had begun an investigation into his travel expense claims.