A FORMER Thurrock Labour councillor, who was in charge of crime, has escaped jail after pleading guilty to possessing and distributing indecent images of children, some as young as eighteen months.
Terry Brookes, aged 59, of Church Road, Lowestoft, appeared at Basildon Crown Court on Tuesday morning (Nov 29th).
Brookes, dressed in a grey suit and red tie, showed no emotion as he was sentenced to twelve months in jail, suspended for two years; 200 hours of community service; a number of requirements limiting his use of computers, as well as signing the sex offenders register.
A court heard that Essex Police attended Brookes’ home, in Grays, on July 20th, 2015, in possession of a warrant and seized a number of computers.
He was charged with three counts of possession of indecent images of children and one count of distributing indecent images of children.
The court heard that 22 of the images were category A (most serious) showing children as young as eighteen months old.
Brookes had received the images through Yahoo, Messenger and Skype although “He did not want to see them.” heard the court.
Presiding Judge Samantha Leigh made reference in court to Brookes’ role as a councillor as an “aggravating feature due to the safeguarding nature.”
Brookes was elected as a Labour councillor (for West Thurrock and South Stifford) in October 2014.
He was soon promoted to the position of portfolio holder for public protection that included all aspects of crime but he was sacked after a series of now shows. He stood down as a councillor soon after.
Sentencing, Judge Leigh told Brookes said: “The children who are victims of this crime, have to live with this.”