March 2009

Ex-Tory councillor sentenced after admitting child porn charges

A FORMER Wirral Tory councillor led a secret life looking at indecent images of children.

While his wife and two daughters slept upstairs, Ian McKellar spent hours poring over child porn downloaded from the internet onto his computer.

But McKellar, who was on the board of governors of two schools, was caught out by police who arrived early one morning at his West Kirby home and seized his computer equipment.

“To the outside world you were a pillar of society, an intelligent man with an apparently stable family background with, no doubt, two delightful children of whom you should be so proud and a loyal and faithful wife,” said Judge David Aubrey, QC.

“There appeared to be no skeletons in the cupboard whatsoever and you were on the board of governors of two well known and highly reputable schools on Wirral.

“Just before 7am on May 11, 2006 there was a knock at the front door of your home.

“The person who knocked was a police officer and the game was up as far as you were concerned,” he said.

As events unfolded it became apparent to his wife that while she slept he was “furtively and surreptitiously examining images on your computer. I have no doubt the reason was for some form of sexual gratification.

“I have no doubt you have an unhealthy interest in erotic images.

“Every single image you have examined for your own gratification represents the abuse of that child.

“You, by examining such images and those like you, by downloading such images are perpetuating such abuse.”

Judge Aubrey then told 58-year-old, grey-haired McKellar, who showed no emotion: “I can put it no better than how one of your daughters described you – despicable.”

He told McKellar, who runs an auction house in Hoylake, that if he had distributed the images and they had been in a more serious category, he would have gone straight to jail.

He said that the pain and anguish he had caused his family must have been “unimaginable” but fortunately for him they were building bridges and his wife remains loyal to him.

“You have brought shame and disgrace on yourself and shame, disgrace, embarrassment, consternation, bewilderment upon your wife and children.”

McKellar, of Sandy Lane, West Kirby, was made the subject of a community order, for the maximum period of three years with supervision and on condition he attends a rigorous sex offenders group programme.

Judge Aubrey also ordered him to sign the Sex Offenders Register for five years and banned him for working with children for life.

McKellar, a former chairman of West Wirral Conservatives who represented Claughton on Wirral council in the 1980s, told the judge: “I am relieved and grateful and no court will ever see me again.”

He had pleaded guilty to eight offences of making indecent images prior to May 11, 2006.

The court heard that the images mainly involved girls aged between 12 – 14, sometimes naked.

Robert Jansen, prosecuting, told Liverpool Crown Court that when his computers were examined a total of 1,913 child porn images were found.

Of those 1,831 were at the lowest level involving erotic posing but one was in the most serious category and 46 in the category below.

McKellar had been accessing newsgroups and paying to view images on websites.

At the time he was on the board of governors of West Kirby Grammar School for Girls and West Kirby Primary School.

Arthur Gibson, defending, said that McKellar, who has no previous convictions, had immediately resigned from the school boards.

He had not deliberately saved the images which he had been accessing for four years on his computer in the living room while his family slept, said Mr Gibson.

“He had something to drink which lowers inhibitions and started to look at web sites. He also looked at adult web sites.

“He has very nearly lost everything. Fortunately he has not lost his family. He has been married for 26 years.”