August 2008

Whoberley’s ex-councillor’s child porn shame

A disgraced former Coventry city councillor has been given a six month suspended jail sentence for downloading hundreds of child porn images.

Peter Stidworthy, 53, appeared at Coventry Crown Court yesterday (thurs). The images were found when he took his computer into a shop for repair.

The former Tory councillor, of Lyndale Road, Whoberley, had earlier admitted five charges of making indecent photos of children and three charges of being in possession of indecent photos of children.

In total he admitted downloading 204 still images and 10 videos of children, as well as possessing 206 still images and nine moving images.

The images were classified as being level one and level two. Level five is the highest classification.

Stidworthy had been forced to quit as a Tory councillor six years ago after being convicted of indecent assault and making indecent images.

Theresa Thorp, prosecuting, said: “When he took his computer in for repair in May last year 200 images of children were found.

“A search of his home which followed recovered two dvds with a similar number of images. There was also a dvd of images and a dvd with movies.

“The way in which the defendant had arranged them on the computer showed some level of sophistication.

“He used privacy guardian, a programme which securely deletes the history of the user.

“He arranged for privacy guardian to clean his internet history every two days, which is why there is a lack of history of usage.”

Steven Bailey, defending, said Stidworthy was currently working in a shop where he was highly regarded.

He said he had suffered physical and verbal abuse and was recently assaulted by his neighbour, because the community knew about the case.

Mr Bailey said: “He acknowledges the interests and proclivities he has been labouring under and they are something of an addiction.

“But he has not acted on it and the treatment he has received has at least taught him to recognise temptation and step away from it.

“It has not stopped him from offending at all but it has decreased the level of offending.”

The judge ordered the images and computer to be destroyed. Stidworthy is also prevented from having a camera or mobile phone, will have to attend a community sex offending programme and was ordered to pay £350 in costs.

  • In 2002, when he was Conservative councillor for Whoberley, Stidworthy was jailed after pleading guilty to indecent assault on a 15-year-old male prostitute and 21 charges of making indecent photographs of children.

December 2002

Councillor jailed for indecent assault

A former Coventry councillor has been jailed for almost two years after he admitted indecently assaulting a 15-year-old boy.

Peter Stidworthy, who was the Conservative councillor for Whoberley, has also been ordered to register as a sex offender for 10 years.

The 46-year-old pleaded guilty to one charge of indecent assault and 21 of making indecent photographs between January 1990 and September 2002, when he appeared at Coventry Magistrates’ Court last month.

At Warwick Crown Court on Monday, Judge Martin Coates sentenced him to 21 months in prison and banned him from working with under-16s for life.

Child abuse images

Stidworthy was arrested in September following a complaint by a 15-year-old boy.

The court heard a warrant to search his home was served and police officers seized his computer.

On its hard drive, officers discovered more than 20,000 pornographic images.

An additional 4,000 indecent images of young boys were also found which Stidworthy had made for distribution, the court was told.

Stidworthy was suspended as a Conservative councillor and as a member of the Conservative party when the police investigation began.