Trimley: Ex-parish councillor sentenced for child pornography

Mark Applin, of Steeles Road, Woolpit,will appear at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court charged w

Mark Applin, of Steeles Road, Woolpit,will appear at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court charged with drink driving after seven cars were damaged in Norwich Road, Ipswich - Credit: Archant

A former Trimley councillor has been made the subject of a five-year sexual offences prevention order after admitting child pornography charges.

Frank Bell, of Mill Close, Trimley St Martin, was also fined £360 at his sentencing by Ipswich magistrates.

The 61-year-old had pleaded guilty earlier this month to making an indecent photo/photograph of a child and another charge of distributing an indecent photograph of a child.

Both offences were said to have taken place on or before June 18 this year.

Trimley St Martin Parish Council received a letter from Bell tendering his resignation as a councillor following his first appearance before South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court.

His offences relate to 10 indecent images which were all said to be at Level One, the lowest grading for child pornography.

Level One of the Copine Scale is defined as images depicting erotic posing with no sexual activity.

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An investigation into Bell was launched after a search warrant was executed at another man’s address at the start of February.

The computer devices seized revealed illicit images had been sent and received from Bell’s address.

On June 18 a warrant was carried out at Bell’s home. A Dell computer tower was seized on which the indecent images were found.

Until his guilty pleas Bell had no previous convictions.

In addition to his sexual offences prevention order and his fine, magistrates told Bell he must pay £36 to the victims’ fund and £85 towards prosecution costs.

Following Bell’s conviction Trimley St Martin Parish Council issued a statement.

It read: “The parish council met as usual on Tuesday, November 5. Councillor Bell was not in attendance at this meeting having already sent his apologies to the clerk on October 31.

“Councillor Bell has tendered a written a letter of resignation, dated November 5, 2013, which was received by the Chairman, John Barker, today.

“At the time of his appearance in court, for matters completely unconnected with parish council business, councillor Bell had already resigned from his post as parish councillor.”