Ex-Hull councillor Steven Bayes jailed for sick and extreme images – and still denies it
Unrepentant paedophile Steven Bayes left court in the back of a prison van after being jailed for a year.
The disgraced former city councillor and NHS nurse, who had also served as Humberside PoliceAuthority chairman, was convicted by a jury of two offences of making indecent photographs of children, and one of having “extreme” images, after a Hull Crown Court trial in February.
Bayes, 56 – who called himself “Lord of Darkness” on Twitter – had denied any wrongdoing and tried to lay the blame for the material found on his computers on a “vulnerable” young adult, Recorder Richard Woolfall told him when sentencing him on Friday.
His barrister, Richard Thompson, conceded the offences crossed the custody threshold, but asked on Bayes’s behalf for the sentence to be suspended.
There were still things to be said in his favour; he had no previous convictions, had devoted much of his life to public service, and was able to provide positive character references from friends and colleagues who continued to stand by him.
But his chances of walking free from court evaporated when it emerged Bayes was still refusing to accept his guilt in his pre-sentence interview with the probation service.
The judge called that “particularly worrying”, and contrasted it with defendants in similar positions, who were “contrite” and “cooperative”.
After he was jailed, Bayes’s former political boss in the city and a leading children’s charity both had the harshest of words for him.
Claire Holmes, prosecuting, said one of the videos showed a child in “discernable pain or distress”, who was “crying in pain” and said “no” as he began being seriously sexually abused by a man. The judge told Bayes he “found pleasure in the sexual abuse of children”.
The day began badly for Bayes, with police having to intervene when two men describing themselves as his “friends” clashed with TV crews outside court.
Bayes, of Prospect Street, city centre, was made subject to a sexual harm prevention order for ten years and must register as a sex offender for the same period.
Jury finds high-profile Hull councillor guilty of making indecent photos of children
A jury has today found a Hull councillor guilty of making indecent photographs of children.
Steven Bayes, 56, former vice-chair of the City of Culture company, and a Cabinet member with responsibility for overseeing long-term regeneration, until he was suspended, was found guilty of two counts of making indecent photographs of children.
He was also found guilty of a third count of possessing extreme pornographic images, involving adults and animals, by the jury at Hull Crown Court which had spent just over five hours deliberating.
Judge Recorder Richard Woolfall warned Bayes, a nurse at Hull Royal Infirmary until being suspended in 2016, that he could face a jail sentence, adding:”All sentencing options will be open to the court, including custody.”
Bayes will have to sign the Sex Offenders Register.
Bayes was charged after police raided his flat in Hull in August 2016 and took away a Hewlett Packard laptop computer, which was found to contain the illegal material, from an iOS back-up from two iPads.
The indecent images, which contained images and film clips of children thought to be as young as seven, were only revealed through a forensic examination of the laptop and could not be seen without specialist knowledge.
During cross-examination he said if he had known there were indecent images on his laptop “I would probably have dropped it into the sea off a North Sea Ferry. It’s like kryptonite – you don’t want anything to do with it.”
Gay Labour councillor loses legal challenge over underage sex
A Labour councillor who was arrested in a Belfast hotel room in 2007 with his 17-year-old boyfriend has failed in a bid to bring a legal challenge against police.
Hull City councillor Steven Bayes, 47, was found with his boyfriend Dale Martin, who was 17 when he was arrested. At the time, the legal age of consent for gay sex in Northern Ireland was 18. This has now been lowered to 16, in line with the rest of the UK.
Following the arrest, both men had their homes and offices raided by police.
Bayes, a councillor for Hull, argued a judicial review was necessary because his privacy had been breached and he had been discriminated against.
The proceedings were launched against the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Public Prosecution Service.
Bayes was told in July that no action would be taken because it was not in the public interest.
His legal challenge was rejected, with the main reason being a delay in applying.
The judge said the legal landscape had changed since the arrest, pointing to the change in the age of consent.
Bayes criticised police and prosecutors for how the case was handled.
According to the BBC, he said: “The police just came in with their big stomping feet all over everything and didn’t look at it, bearing in mind the law was changing.
“If it wasn’t in the public interest in July 2009, it wasn’t in the public interest in December 2007 and they should have known that.”
The couple are now engaged. Bayes maintains that he believed Martin was 18 when they first met online.