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Former Tory councillor downloaded over 16,000 pictures

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A teacher and former Tory parliamentary candidate was jailed for child Net porn offences yesterday. Michael Powell, 51, was sentenced to three years by Cardiff Crown Court for downloading 16,600 pictures of children from the Web, according to today’s Daily Telegraph. Powell, who was conservative Mayor of Bridgend, South Wales, in 1984, was arrested after police raided his home. He admitted to detectives that he had collected the computer images for two-years. Nicola Harris, defending at yesterday’s court case, said Powell had lost his wife, job and reputation. "He never came into direct contact with children and took administration posts in school so that he would not be near the pupils," she said. Powell, of Sarn, Bridgend, pleaded guilty to making indecent pseudo pictures of a child, possessing the images, possession with intent to supply and distribution. He asked for 50 similar offences to be taken into consideration. Recorder David Aubrey, QC, expressed his fears over the lack of censorship and control regarding the Internet. "It is apparent there is an alarming and disturbing sub-culture in our society," he said. "These people are sitting in front of their computers, exchanging depraved and sickening images with people of like minds all round the world, the judge said." ®

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