Community leader going on trial next year

A prominent North Shore community member charged with sexually exploiting children is set to face trial next year.

Martin Lawes, a former chairman of the Takapuna Community Board, appeared in the High Court at Auckland on Wednesday.

He faces three counts of dealing in people under 18 for sex, five counts of importing-exporting objectionable publications and one count of possessing such publications.

He denies the charges and is due to appear in court again in May ahead of a scheduled trial in February next year.