April 2009

Abuse pictures councillor jailed

A former local councillor has been jailed for six years after police found an illegal gun and child abuse images at his Greater Manchester home.

Officers were called to Wigan town hall after being told that Joseph Shaw, 42, had the indecent images on his home computer, Liverpool Crown Court heard.

At his Standish home, almost 2,000 indecent photographs were found on his PC, some level five – the most serious.

Shaw admitted 17 counts of possessing indecent images of children.

He also admitted possessing a prohibited weapon and ammunition without a certificate after a Smith & Wesson revolver with ammunition was also found in a safe in his bedroom.

During police interviews, Shaw claimed he downloaded the images by mistake and the gun had been given to him 20 years ago by a man he only knew as Bill.

Shaw was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for the firearm offence and an additional year for the indecent images.

A two-year jail term for the ammunition conviction will run concurrently.

Shaw, who resigned from Wigan Metropolitan Council, was also ordered to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years.

Det Con Phil White, of Greater Manchester Police said: “Shaw systematically collected hundreds of appalling images for his own sick ends.

“Each one of these images is the result of trauma and physical abuse meted out to the victims.

“These offences are shocking enough, but the fact that Shaw carried them out while serving the local community as a councillor is even worse.”