April 2008

Paedophile breaches order

A DEVIOUS paedophile convicted of possessing images of child pornography on his computer has been fined £100 for failing to comply with his community order and warned he could go to jail if he does so again.

Disgraced former Haverhill town councillor Mabon Dane, 38, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday where he denied breaching the order imposed on him in 2006 when he was found guilty after a trial of 16 charges of making indecent images of children and one of possessing them.

He was warned by Judge David Goodin that he would have little option but to impose a custodial sentence if Dane failed to comply with the order again. The judge also criticised him for his continued denial of the charges.

He said: “Mr Dane is querulous, petulant and devious and I have no doubt a difficult character to work with; nevertheless the work must be done. 

“Simply turning up for appointments is not complying with the order if he is not engaging in the work which is intended to change his behaviour and reduce the risk of him offending again. 

“There is no doubt in my mind that the visit on January 7 was conducted in a proper and reasonable way, he was treated in a courteous and proper way. It is unsurprising that the defendant finds himself in the position that he does as his total denial of what he had done makes it impossible for him to engage.

“It is in everyone’s interests, yours and society’s, that the risk you run of creating a demand for these images is reduced.”

Prosecutor Russell Butcher said that Dane, of Gazelle Close, Colchester, was sentenced to a 36-month community punishment and put on the Sex Offenders’ Register in July 2006. 

Last December he had refused to allow a probation officer and a police officer into his home and in January this year he let them in, but refused to answer any questions. He turned on a Dictaphone to record their questions, then sat reading a book. On a visit to the probation office on the next day, he refused to answer any questions and simply wrote them down.

Dominic Bell, Dane’s fifth probation officer, said Dane had previously refused to answer any questions about his past history before 1993 and had wanted to dictate how his supervision should be conducted. 

Dane, who is now a follower of Islam, told the court he was not happy with the police officer visiting his home and would have answered questions if the probation officer came alone. 

Dane claimed he suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome and found it hard to follow the officer because of his Irish accent and quick speech. 

Judge Goodin also ordered Dane to pay £200 costs.

June 2006

Ex-councillor guilty in child porn case

A DISGRACED former councillor convicted of having child porn on his computer has escaped jail.

Mabon Dane, a former Haverhill Town councillor, was given a three-year supervision order and ordered to do 80 hours of unpaid community work, when he appeared at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday (Tuesday, 18 July).

Judge David Goodin told Dane he still had “grave concerns” about him and felt he continued to pose a potential risk, but as the offences he was convicted of related to only Level 1 images, they fell outside the custody threshold.

However, in view of his continuing concerns, the judge imposed an order disqualifying Dane from working with children in the future.

Judge Goodin told Dane it was inevitable that he was convicted by the jury, yet he continued to refuse to accept responsibility for his actions, as well as being arrogant and refusing to answer questions asked in preparation of the pre-sentence report.

Judge Goodin said: “Offences such as these necessarily raise great public concern and indeed outrage and revulsion.

You conviction was in my judgement, inevitable, with the fact that your computer was busy deleting images with your evidence eliminator programme at the time the police were seen to be knocking on your door.

“Your arrogance in dealing with the person who prepared your presentence report and declining to answer certain questions concerns me greatly and convinces me that you do pose a potential risk. There is no doubt that you have an unhealthy interest in children, that is plain from your conviction even at this level.

“In my judgement there is a risk that you will continue to commit similar offences in the future. That being the case, it must follow that your interest in child pornography will remain undimmed.”

Dane produced newspaper cuttings and scrapbooks to show his achievements as a councillor, working for people in the community and in athletics. Matthew McNiff, defending, said it was a sad case, but that Dane’s failure to co-operate with the report did not signify anything sinister. He had a tenacious personality and a natural reluctance to discuss issues such as the death of his parents when he was a child.

Mr McNiff said: “His fall from grace had been exceptional. He has worked with children in athletics for years and if any parents had concerns they would have been reported to police after the publicity for this case. But there has not been one.”

Dane, 36, was convicted of 16 charges of making indecent images of children and one of possessing indecent images of children after a three-day trial last month and was immediately placed on the Sex Offenders Register.

Political career dogged by controversy

CHILD porn pervert Mabon Dane was first elected to represent the Chalkstone Ward on Haverhill Town Council as an independent councillor in June 2002.

He started work at Axa Insurance, living alone in a flat above a hairdressers shop in Withersfield Road.

He was also a founder member of the Haverhill Striders Athletic Club, which had up to 50 youngsters as members at one time, but he later resigned from the group.

He was also a founder member of the now defunct Haverhill Representative Alliance Party (HRA) which swept to power on Haverhill Town Council in May 2003, taking 11 out of the 16 seats. But meetings soon descended into chaos with acrimonious arguments between HRA and Labour councillors.

One meeting in June 2003 was suspended after angry clashes between former Town Mayor Annette Daniel-Ward and Town Clerk Gordon Mussett, amid threats of legal action.

Former Town Mayor Maggie Lee, who later resigned, launched a £10,000 High Court libel action against Dane for comments he had made about her on his website.

More than 50 complaints were made to the Standards Board of England by Dane about other councillors and by others about him. All but one were rejected against other councillors, but in September 2005, after a hearing which he did not attend, Dane was banned from being a councillor for three years by a Standards Board Panel which ruled he had brought his council into disrepute.

Dane had previously resigned from the Town Council in July 2005.