Ex-Labour councillor in Hackney spared jail over ‘sadistic’ sex images of children


former Labour councillor in Hackney caught with “sadistic” images of children being sexually abused as well as a cache of violent pornographic photos has been spared jail.

Thomas Dewey, 36, was caught by the National Crime Agency after he uploaded some of the illegal images to an online storage platform.

He was arrested at his then-home in north London on April 29 last year, but went on a week later to be elected for Labour to sit on Hackney council.

Labour were notified on May 16 by the council’s Chief Executive that he had been arrested and he was suspended from the party. Dewey resigned as a councillor the same day, triggering a by-election last July.

At Wood Green crown court on Tuesday, Dewey was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, with 150 hours of community service and 40 days in rehab.

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Recorder Jonathan Ashley-Norman KC said Dewey had “taken commendable steps since your arrest to demonstrate your efforts to address your offending behaviour”.

“Your actions have had a devastating impact on your life, and on the lives of your closest family”, he added.

“I recognise the steps you have taken in order to turn your life around.”

Prosecutor Margia Mostafa told the court: “On April 29, 2022, NCA officers received four cyber tipline reports identifying the user of an online Google account.

“The user had uploaded indecent prohibited images of children to his online storage.”

NCA officers went to his home in north London and seized two laptops, two tablets and a hard drive containing 249 indecent images of children, including five in the most serious category involving sadistic abuse.

Dewey had also downloaded 78 extreme pornographic images involving violence and graphic injuries as well as sex with animals, and 1523 CGI and cartoon images involving the sexual abuse of children.

The court heard the images had been downloaded between 2008 and April 2022, with the last ones being saved two days before his arrest.

Full details of the abuse pictures were not revealed in court, but Ms Mostafa told the judge he could read a report which detailed “sadism”, “penetration”, and the ages of the children involved.

A report also concluded that Dewey posed a “medium risk to teenage boys”.

Dewey, wearing a brightly patterned tie, blue suit, and with his hair tied in a bun, spoke only to confirm his name during the sentencing hearing.

Rhiannon Sadler, mitigating for Dewey, said he sought treatment and therapy shortly after being arrested, long before he was charged earlier this year.

“He is addressing the problem he has as pro-actively as he possibly can”, she said.

“He has also taken responsibility personally, by speaking with his family which we can all accept wouldn’t have been an easy conversation.

“He did that immediately, as he did with his employer, and having difficult conversations as well with the Labour party.”

Character references were offered to the court from Dewey’s mother and sister, while Dewey himself wrote a letter to the court which was not read aloud.

“Mr Dewey is one of those people who has clearly got to the point where there’s a huge problem”, added Ms Sadler.

“Rather than sticking his head in the sand, post-police involvement he has been proactive.

“Despite knowing it was going to destroy his life, which some people may say it should, he has continued to do what’s right in the sense of informing those he should.”

Dewey, now living in a cottage in Petersfield in Hampshire, pleaded guilty to three charges of making indecent images of children, possessing extreme pornographic images, and possessing prohibited images of children.

He will be subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.


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