The Hull Daily Mail has put itself in the frame for an investigative journalistic award of the highest standing after exposing a local website owner who'd designed "thousands of hardcore pornography websites".
Paul's Smith's HU17.net is an innocent enough affair offering info on the picturesque town of Beverley. So well regarded was this apparently upstanding pillar of the community that an East Riding Council press release recently invited the public to submit event details for inclusion on the site, which includes "photographs of junior sports fixtures", the Hull Daily Mail significantly notes.
Indeed, the parents of sports-minded youngsters may well have been choking on their breakfasts this morning when the Hull Daily Mail sensationally revealed that Smith was a man with a dark, dark secret: he'd put together the aforementioned smut sites boasting names such as Teen Sex and Hot Nude Teens, some of which feature "images of women dressed as schoolgirls being spanked".
The scale of the outrage is unimaginable, unless you are among those able to imagine the 4,000 domains allegedly owned by Smith - each presumably packed to the gusset with moist schoolgirls receiving hard discipline.
Smith's feeble attempt to hide behind Smiths Media Solutions - his company which does the porncoding - proved no match for the Hull Daily Mail. The paper dispatched a reporter posing as an escort to see what he had to offer, and Smith "agreed to do it for between £150 and £250".
It, we should add, was to design a website for the faux strumpet. Armed with the incriminating evidence, the Hull Daily Mail confronted Smith, who said: "I'm not saying my past is perfect, but I'm trying to build a future. I'm genuinely trying to do better and go in the right direction."
Official reaction was predictable enough. Beverley Mayor Councillor David Elvidge gasped: "I was not aware of the websites he has designed. I am speechless."
Following the shock revelations, Smith posted this defence on HU17.net. Suffice it to say, the Hull Daily Mail notes that none of the porngraphic material it selflessly eyeballed is illegal, so the question is just what purpose does its exemplary investigative journalism serve?
The paper has left comments to its story open "to allow debate to continue". Reflecting general local feeling, Rob of Hull chipped in today with: "I for one have reported this dreadful peice [sic] of reporting to the press complaints commission & i also urge any other decent people would do the same - Press Complaints office number is 0845 600 2757." ®