Friday, April 17, 2009

Labour - Councillor - Jailed Child Pornography

COMPUTER : Joe Shaw was arrested at Wigan Town Hall
COMPUTER : Joe Shaw was arrested at Wigan Town Hall

A former Wigan councillor has been re-bailed by police investigating alleged computer child porn.
Joe Shaw, 40, the former member for Beech Hill who lives in Standish, was arrested at Wigan Town Hall last summer by detectives on suspicion of having child pornography on his home computer.
He has been ordered to return to Wigan Police Station on Monday, April 14, pending further inquiries.

Mr Shaw stood down from the council, resigning his position on the Metro's licensing and regulation committees as well as Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority.
Elected to Wigan Council in 2005, Mr Shaw, who is unemployed, represented Wigan West ward.


UPDATE Jan 07 2009

A former Wigan Labour councillor is facing amended charges in relation to alleged child porn offences.
Joe Shaw, of Avondale Street, Standish, will face 16 charges of making indecent images of a child and one of possessing an indecent image of child when he appears before Liverpool Crown Court on March 10.

The 42-year-old was originally charged with 16 charges of possessing an indecent image of a child, but these charges were withdrawn by the Crown Prosecution Service with the agreement of the defendant.

Mr Shaw made his second appearance before Wigan Magistrates' Court yesterday and was remanded on conditional bail until his first Crown Court date.
He will face two alleged firearms offences on the same date.

Mr Shaw, who joined Wigan Metro in 2004 and represented Wigan West ward for one term (three years), is alleged to have had a prohibited weapon and ammunition without a certificate.

He was arrested at the Town Hall in Hewlett Street in July 2007 .


UPDATE April 17

A former Wigan councillor who downloaded child porn and had a gun and ammunition in his safe was today (Thur) jailed for six years.

A court heard that Joseph Shaw's offending came to light after his daughter found the indecent images on his computer.

She was so shocked she did not initially tell anyone but after she found he had continued visiting child porn sites and also discovered texts on his phone apparently making obscene references to her she told a counsellor who alerted police.

JaIling 42-year-old Shaw, Judge David Swift said, "At the time you were in a possession of public responsibility, a man to whom others might look for an example."

Liverpool Crown Court heard that Shaw had been a Labour councillor for Wigan West for three years and also a member of the Greater Manchester Transport Authority,

Judge Swift told Shaw that the indecent images, totalling almost 2,000, involved the exploitation of children, "some very young indeed." The children had been subjected to "degrading and sickening experiences", he said.

When police raided his home in Avondale Street, Standish, they found a World War 11 .38 Smith & Wesson revolver and 15 cartridges for it in a safe.

Shawk, who had a shotgun certificate, used to be a member of a gun club and must have been aware that the gun was capable of firing live ammunition and must have known it was prohibited, said Michael Scholes, prosecuting.

He said that the indecent images found on Shaw's computer covered all five categories of abuse and had been discovered by his daughter in April 2007.

He told her not to use his computer but she did while he was out and it was when visiting the 'history box' to delete any trace of her usage that she saw he had been visiting child porn sites.

The next month she again checked his computer and found he had visited similar sites.

Her father was arrested in July that year at Wigan Town Hall and when his home was searched it was found to be "chaotic and disordered."

A total of 1,967 indecent images, including still and movie files, were found, including 17 in the most serious category involving sadism.

When interviewed Shaw, who has no previous convictions, described the pornographic images as "disgusting. I wouldn't hurt a kid." He admitted he had developed a fascination for viewing the images out of curiousity and visited illicit websites 2 - 3 times a week.

Shaw pleaded guilty to 17 offences of making indecent images and one charge of possessing indecent images of children. He also admitted having a prohibited weapon, the handgun and ammunition.

He was ordered to sign on the Sex Offenders Register for ten years and Judge Swift also made a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for life banning him from being alone in the company of children.


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