Suspended jail term for former councillor who took indecent photographs of young boys
A disgraced former Dudley councillor and magistrate who took hundreds of indecent images and films of two young boys has been given a suspended jail term and ordered to register as a sex offender.
Derrick Hemingsley who was also a school governor, a prospective Parliamentary candidate and a regular churchgoer had experienced a “spectacular fall from grace,” Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.
The actions of Hemingsley, who represented the Wordsley ward for the Labour Party, had left one victim – an 11-year-old – “scared and shocked” while the second boy, now 13, suffered from depression.
The 57-year-old wanted to use the young boys to help promote his Pensnett based car products business
He said Hemingsley had been a magistrate who sat in judgement of others but, in this case, he had allowed his own judgement to be “clouded”.
Mr Hunka said: “The images were indecent but he did not hold that view” as he maintained the former councillor – described as dedicating his life to the community – did not appreciate he was breaking the law.
There was no doubt the images had an impact on the two boys, said Mr Hunka, and Hemingsley had made the wrong decision when he asked them to pose stripped to the waist for their photo shoots.
Hemingsley, of Penzer Street, Kingswinford, admitted two charges of taking indecent photographs of children and he was given a 10-month jail term suspended for two years.
He was further ordered by the judge to register as a sex offender for the next five years and to pay £500 towards the costs of the prosecution.
A number of the images had been posted online but Hemingsley said he had blocked people from watching them on 30 or 40 occasions because of inappropriate remarks made by a “glut of weirdos”.
Police found 469 indecent images on Hemingsley’s computer together with 17 videos
Ex-councillor guilty over images
A disgraced ex-Dudley councillor who was stripped of his role could be locked up after admitting he took indecent photographs of boys.
Former Labour Party member Derrick Hemingsley, who represented Wordsley, admitted to his offending at Wolverhampton Crown Court yesterday, despite initially denying he had broken the law.
He entered guilty pleas to two counts of taking indecent photographs of children.
Judge Simon Ward revealed Hemingsley did accept he was guilty of the crimes, but added: “[He] doesn’t accept that he considered the images to be indecent when he took them.”
The Crown Prosecution Service now has two weeks to review the 57-year-old’s basis of plea, with a provisional sentencing date set for September 7.
Hemingsley, of Penzer Street, Kingswinford, was put on ‘immediate administrative suspension’ by the Labour party pending the outcome of a police probe in 2015.
The defendant, who must now sign the sex offenders register, remained on police bail for a year until West Midlands Police charged him with possessing the indecent images.
The former Friends of Wordsley Park chairman denied any wrongdoing at Wolverhampton Crown Court six months ago before a week-long trial was scheduled for October.
Yesterday Hemingsley, who committed the offences between September 1, 2014 and December 31, 2015, was released on conditional bail and is prohibited from having contact with under-18s.
Judge Ward warned the defendant he could be handed an immediate prison sentence, adding: “Please don’t leave here thinking an adjournment on bail means you will not go to prison.”
Hemingsley represented Wordsley until last April when Dudley Council stripped him of his title after he failed to attend council meetings.