October 2018

Ex-Assembly member who harvested sickest child abuse images spared jail and given £200 fine

Former Plaid Cymru Senedd member Simon Thomas downloaded Category A images and videos

A former Plaid Cymru AM has been handed a 26 week prison sentence after admitting possessing more than 600 indecent pictures and videos of children.

Simon Thomas, 54, of Aberystwyth admitted three counts of making indecent images of children when he appeared at Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court

But the judge at Flintshire Magistrates Court suspended the term for two years.

District Judge Gwyn Jones said the offences are so serious an immediate custodial sentence could be justified.

That sentence, he told Thomas, would be so short as to have little impact except delay the addressing of issues the pre-sentence report had identified.

In addition to the prison term he must work with the Probation Service to address these issues.

The judge, noting Thomas had “suffered a significant fall from grace”, ordered Thomas to observe a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for the next seven years. This will restrict the use of computers and he cannot delete any internet browsing history and make all electronic equipment available to police on request.

Within the next three days Thomas must register his details with police and these will remain on the Sex Offenders Register for the next seven years.

Thomas was also ordered to pay costs of £200.

The court heard 150 pictures and videos, found at the home of the former Plaid Cymru Welsh Assembly member in July, were in the highest category of illegal images.

The father-of-two Thomas pleaded guilty to making 94 still and 56 moving images of category A, 87 still and 16 moving images of category B, and 354 still and five moving images of category C.

October 2018

Former Plaid Cymru MP admits to making more than 600 indecent images of children

A former MP has pleaded guilty to making more than 600 indecent pictures and videos of children.

Simon Thomas, 54, admitted three counts of making indecent images of children when he appeared at Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

The court heard 150 pictures and videos, found at the home of the former Plaid Cymru Welsh Assembly member in July, were in the highest category of illegal images.

Father-of-two Thomas pleaded guilty to making 94 still and 56 moving images of category A, 87 still and 16 moving images of category B, and 354 still and five moving images of category C.

“All sentencing options are open,” District Judge Gwyn Jones warned Thomas before he adjourned the hearing for a pre-sentence report.

Thomas was ordered to surrender his passport to police and was prohibited from having unsupervised contact with children below the age of 16.

District Judge Jones said: “The fact the court has adjourned today for a report should not be taken as an indication of any predetermined sentence.

“This includes custody or the case being sent to the crown court.”

Thomas, from Penparcau, Aberystwyth, was granted conditional bail until he appears at Mold Magistrates’ Court on October 31.

He resigned from Plaid Cymru and from his role as the Welsh Assembly member for Mid and West Wales after he was arrested in July.

Thomas, a former librarian, was MP for Ceredigion between 2000 and 2005. He was also in the running to become Plaid Cymru leader but dropped out before Leanne Wood won the contest.