A FORMER Malvern Hills councillor was branded a “dirty old man” by a judge but escaped jail for possessing indecent photographs of children.
Michael Angell was given a six-month prison sentence suspended for two years at Hereford Crown Court yesterday (Monday).
Angell, aged 61, was also fined a total of £2,500, will be made to attend a sexual offending programme and was given with a community order with a supervision requirement for 36 months.
The suspended sentence was handed down for the worst of the 12 charges Angell faced, which was possession of a ‘category four’ image of a child. The category scale only goes up to five – encompassing the most sickening images imaginable.
Angell, who showed no emotion as the sentence as read out, was warned by the judge, David McEvoy, that if he fails to complete the sexual offending programme he would activate the suspended sentence and go to prison.
Judge McEvoy said: “You are a man of impeccable character and now you have been convicted by jury of downloading these images.
“Part of the punishment is to expose you as behaving like a dirty old man. I considered sending you to prison but I don’t think the interests of justice required that nor do I think you are a threat to young individuals.”
He said that those who downloaded images of child pornography like Angell were encouraging the makers of such images to produce more of them.
Angell, of King Edward’s Road, Malvern, has already signed the sex offenders’ register where his name will remain for the next seven years.
Angell will pay the first £1,000 of his fine within 14 days and the rest in instalments of £200 every 28 days.
On top of the fine Angell will have to pay court costs of £4,903 because he denied the charges.