A Labour Party councillor has not been given a jail sentence despite being caught with thousands of rape images of children and being a drug dealer – in his own ward.
Labour councillor Tom Neilson, 33 and his lodger supplied drugs from his home where wild parties were also held.
When police raided his property in November 2015 they caught his lodger, Brendan Evans, with a stash of illegal substences and drugs paraphernalia.
Neilson’s computers were seized and officers found thousands of rape images of youngsters some involving sex with animals.
The Labour councillor for North West Leicestershire District Council, representing Measham South ward since 2011, resigned following his arrest.
Neilson and Evans, 27, both previously admitted possessing drugs, with intent to supply.
Neilson, of Measham, Leicestershire, further admitted three counts of possessing rape images of children between 2008 and 2015.
Yesterday, he was given a three-year community order with a requirement to undergo an internet sex offender programme and carry out 180 hours of unpaid work.
Evans, also from Measham, who has previous convictions for drug offences, was jailed for 20 months at Leicester Crown Court.
Sentencing, Judge Nicholas Dean QC told Neilson: ‘You’re in a different position to your co-accused.
‘You’re a man of good character and your offending was carried out in a different way.
‘These offences are taken seriously by the court; if it happens again you’ll be going to prison.
‘Indecent images were found on your computer, a different form of offending which is as serious, if not more.’
He said he accepted the defendant looked at the images after ‘straying’ from mainstream adult pornography.
The judge said he also accepted the recommendation in the pre-sentence report that Neilson should receive ‘appropriate rehabilitation’.
Judge Dean told Evans he had previously been jailed ‘for precisely the same offending’ which could not be overlooked by the court.
The court heard Neilson allowed himself to be involved by allowing parties to take place and drugs to be used on the premises.
James Bide-Thomas, prosecuting, said the defendant also used drugs himself and passed on messages relating to dealing.
Nicola Moore, defending Neilson, said: ‘If he’s sent to prison he won’t receive any form of assistance.’
She said the indecent images offending was ‘combined with problems he had with his drug use’, which is now being addressed.
Vasanti Vaitha, for Evans, asked for credit for his guilty plea and said: ‘He knows there can only be one outcome today.’