May 2009

Child porn find at town hall

A disgraced former Walsall councillor who left a computer memory stick containing child porn behind after a town hall meeting was today fined £443.

Jonathan Phillips was placed on the sex offenders register for two years.

The discovery was made after a council worker found the equipment belonging to Phillips in a meeting room at the Lichfield Street site.

After loading the stick into the computer, they discovered the indecent images and was able to link the computer to Phillips.

At Walsall Magistrates Court today the 53-year-old admitted two offences of making an indecent photo or pseudo-photo of a child.

Phillips, of Eastbourne Street, Walsall, resigned from his position as a Labour councillor for the Birchills and Leamore ward after he was arrested by police last October. He was suspended from his work at Wolverhampton City Council.

Miss Siobhan Wilkins, prosecuting, said Phillips received texts on his mobile phone but had accessed them by downloading from a website which he then copied onto a USB stick. This stick was found in September last year.

Mr Mahmood Hussain, defending, said: “My client has never had any court record. This is totally out of character. When the police searched his home they found nothing untoward.

“The charges relate to two images found on a computer memory stick given to him by someone else.

“He looked at them and when he realised what they were he was going to report them to the police himself.”

Along with the fine he was ordered to pay costs of £60 and a £15 victim surcharge.

Phillips represented the old Hatherton and Rushall ward from 1995-99 and was then re-elected to serve Birchills and Leamore from 2006 before his resignation.