August 2017

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.