Former children's services' councillor jailed for having 400,000 indecent images (From Watford Observer)
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Stephen Holmes, former portfolio holder for children's services at Hertfordshire County Council, jailed for posssessing 400,000 indecent images
A senior Hertfordshire politician, who held a role overseeing children's services, has been jailed after being found in possession of more than 400,000 indecent images of children.
Stephen Holmes, 61, was sentenced to 10 months in custody at St Albans Crown Court today after admitting 23 counts of possessing indecent images and videos including thousands at level five, the most serious abuse.
The massive cache of images was accumulated over a period of 12 years by Holmes, who resigned as deputy portfolio holder for children’s services at Hertfordshire county council and as a Dacorum borough councillor following his arrest.
Harry Bentley, for Holmes, told the court his client had never sought to abuse his position or gain access to children.
He said: "This is a man with a problem, not a persistent sex offender.
"A somewhat pathetic individual locking himself in a room on his own."
The images were discovered on computer equipment in his Woodhall Farm home in May by police investigating online activity.
The politician, who was also a Dacorum Borough Councillor in Hemel Hempstead and the former mayor of the borough.
Holmes, of Dickens Court, Hemel Hempstead was also handed an indefinite sex offenders prevention order limiting his internet access by Judge John Plumstead.