Former Hackney councillor Tom Dewey given 12-month suspended sentence for possessing indecent images of children
A former Hackney councillor has avoided jail after admitting possessing indecent images of children.
Recorder Jonathan Ashley-Norman handed down a 12-month suspended sentence, he said: Your actions have had a devastating impact on your life and your closest family.”
He gave him credit for an early guilty plea
He also ordered devices to be forfeited, told Dewey to pay £500 costs and put him on a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order, which will restrict his contact with children.
Thomas Dewey, who was elected as a Labour councillor for De Beauvoir ward, was arrested by detectives from the National Crime Agency who seized laptops and tablets at his home in Hertford Road in Hackney, just days before May’s local elections last year.
He had a “huge problem” with looking at indecent images of children from the internet for his own use, Wood Green Crown Court heard.
He stood down as a councillor, within weeks of his arrest, before attending his first council meeting.
Described by party activists as “ambitious”, he had worked at Hackney Council for nearly two years as a support officer for the Mayor and Cabinet office and for a consultancy advising on planning.
He was the branch secretary for the De Beauvoir ward for Labour and had spent years campaigning for the party in Hackney.
Last month, the 36-year-old admitted a charge of making five category A indecent images of children, a further charge of making 41 category B indecent images, as well as making 203 category C indecent images of children, on 29 April 2022 in Hackney.
Images are graded with category A considered the worst.
Dewey, now of Hampshire, also admitted a charge of possessing 78 extreme pornographic images of children – an act which results, or is likely to result, in serious injury to a person – on 29 April 2022 and having 1,523 prohibited images of children in his possession on or before 20 January 2022.
The maximum sentence for the most serious charge is five years, depending on the number of images.
Details of the images were not read out in court, but prosecutor Margia Mostafa said the content of the Category A images “are highly serious.”
The starting point for the first charge is two years in prison but the steps Dewey has taken, along with his early guilty plea and remorse saw that cut to 12 months, suspended for two years.
He received an additional six months for charge two, three months for charge three, six months for charge four, and six months for charge five, all suspended for two years and to run concurrently.
Dewey also has to do 150 hours’ community service and 40 days of a “rehabilitation activity”.
The court heard images date from between 14 January 2008 to 27 April 2022, two days before his arrest at home in Hackney where he was “the sole occupant.”
The NCA seized two laptops, two tablets and a hard drive and Dewey was arrested and cautioned at 7.03am.
They had identified four “CyberTipline” reports which has user ID to a google drive and Dewey had uploaded indecent images of children to his personal account.
Dewey was elected as a Labour councillor for the first time in the May 2022 council elections and resigned days later, triggering a by-election last July.
Labour, which has a majority on the council, narrowly defeated the Green candidate in the by-election.
The charges have caused upset amongst Labour campaigners who were unaware of the arrest until this summer.
Ex-Hackney Labour councillor admits possessing indecent images of children
A former Hackney Labour councillor on Tuesday admitted possessing indecent images of children.
Thomas Dewey appeared at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court charged with five offences.
The 36-year-old, from Hampshire, admitted making five category A , the most serious kind, of indecent images of children on April 29, 2022.
On the same date he downloaded four category B and 203 category C images.
He also admitted possessing 78 extreme pornographic images of children and having over 1,500 prohibited images of children in his possession on or before January 20 2022.
Dewey had been arrested by the NCA “at his home in Hackney in April 2022 and was released under investigation”, according to local newspaper reports.
Despite this, Dewey remained as a Labour Party candidate for the 2022 council elections on May 5, where he was elected for De Beauvoir ward with more than 1,100 votes, ahead of Green, LibDem and independent candidates.
Dewey resigned as a councillor the same day, triggering a by-election last July.
He is due to be sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court on August 15.