May 2017

Drugs and child abuse images councillor avoids jail

A former Labour councillor who was involved in drug dealing and was caught in possession of indecent images of children has escaped a jail sentence.

Tom Neilson (33) allowed his lodger to supply M-Cat from his home in High Street, Measham, where drugs parties were also held.

When Leicestershire Police raided his house, in November 2015, they caught his lodger, Brendan Evans, with a 40.35 grams stash of M-Cat, worth £1,100, and drugs paraphernalia, including dealer bags.

Neilson’s computers were seized and officers discovered he had accessed nearly 3,000 indecent images of youngsters on the internet, along with extreme pornography, involving sex with animals, James Bide-Thomas, prosecuting, told Leicester Crown Court.

Neilson and Evans (27) both admitted possessing M-Cat, a class B drug, with intent to supply it.

Neilson, a councillor for North West Leicestershire District Council, representing Measham South ward since 2011, resigned following his arrest.

He admitted the drugs offence on the basis that he assisted his lodger, Evans.

Neilson allowed himself to be involved, by allowing parties to take place and drugs to be used on the premises.

He also used M-Cat himself and passed on messages relating to dealing.

In his plea basis, Neilson stated how his world fell apart: “I stopped going to work and the way I was caused concern for family and friends.”

Neilson further admitted three counts of possessing indecent images of children between 2008 and 2015

Neilson pleaded guilty to possessing extreme pornography, relating to eight illegal images which included bestiality.

He was given a three-year community order with a requirement to undergo an internet sex offender programme and carry out 180 hours of unpaid work.

Evans, of Holly Court, Measham, who has previous convictions for drug offences, was jailed for 20 months.

Judge Nicholas Dean QC told Neilson: “You’re in a different position to your co-accused.

“You’re a man of good character and your offending was carried out in a different way.

“You became involved with Mr Evans’ trade in M-Cat and I accept yours was very much a secondary role.

“These offences are taken seriously by the court; if it happens again you’ll be going to prison.

The judge said he also accepted the recommendation in the pre-sentence report that Neilson should receive “appropriate rehabilitation”.

Judge Dean told Evans he had previously been jailed “for precisely the same offending” which could not be overlooked by the court.