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Child porn ex-councillor escapes jail

SHAMED former town councillor Mabon Dane escaped jail on Tuesday when he was sentenced for 16 counts of making indecent images of children at Ipswich Crown Court.

Dane, of Withersfield Road, Haverhill, instead received a three-year supervision order, 80 hours' unpaid work, was automatically placed upon the sex offenders register for five years and has been banned from working children.

He was also ordered to pay 500 towards prosecution costs.

The court heard that one of Dane's 889 indecent images was a 23-second movie featuring a 12-year-old boy lying naked on his back.

Judge David Goodin said: "There is no doubt that you have an unhealthy interest in young children."

The court heard that during an interview for his pre-sentence report Dane had continued to deny he had committed the offences and refused to answer a number of questions put to him by the probation officer, most of them about his childhood.

"That is a concern as is your arrogance, there is no other word for it, with the preparing of the pre-sentence report," added Judge Goodin.

Police raided Dane's then residence in Withersfield Road in the early hours of July 26, 2004.

He pleaded not guilty to 16 counts of making indecent images of children and one charge of possessing indecent images of children.

Dane was found guilty on June 21 after the jury of 11 women and one man rejected his claims that Haverhill Town Council had planted the images on to his computer.

The court had earlier heard that Dane had told police that the accusations were 'a load of crap'.

"I am giving you a supervision order for three years," said the judge.

"During that time you must complete a total of 80 hours of unpaid work and do it to a proper standard.

"If you fail to do so you may end up at a magistrates court who may fine you. Or, you may be sent to this court where any sentences may be placed upon you including a sentence of imprisonment.

"The sterling work you have done in the past shows plainly you are capable of being a force for good but you give me cause for grave concern."

In mitigation, his defence barrister, Matthew McNiff, said Dane was not a danger to the public and was only likely to re-offend in a similar way, if at all, as he had an unblemished record of working with children in athletics.

He added: "When his conviction hit the press as it did there is no doubt that any parent that had any doubt would have asked their child had anything happened. Had it happened then it would have been brought before the court, nothing has and that is because it has not."

Mr McNiff also described Dane's conviction as a 'fall from grace'.

But the judge refused to accept that and banned Dane from working with children for life.

He said: "I remain very concerned that you remain unable to accept responsibility so I disqualify you from working with children in the future."

After the case Dane said he was considering an appeal and had been advised not to comment further.

 
 
 

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