An ex-Hackney Labour councillor has avoided a prison sentence after he was caught with sadistic child sexual abuse images. 

Thomas Dewey, 36, was elected as a councillor just six days after he was arrested during a home raid. 

On devices including his work laptop, officers found images that showed young children being subjected to horrific sexual acts. The images were dated from January 2008 to April 2022.

Dewey pleaded guilty to three counts of possessing indecent images of children – five images in the most serious category A, 41 in category B and 203 in category C. 

He also admitted to possessing 78 extreme pornographic images portraying act likely to result in serious injury to a person’s private parts and 1,523 prohibited images of a child such as cartoons or CGI images. 

At Wood Green Crown Court on Tuesday (August 15) Dewey was given a suspended sentence and was ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work. 

National Crime Agency (NCA) officers received four tipline reports after Dewey uploaded indecent images to his online Google Drive. 

Police arrested him at his home in Hertford Road, Hackney, on April 29, 2022, and five devices including a work laptop were seized. 

“The defendant accepted that all of the devices were his and thereafter the devices were examined by the forensic team and they were shown to have those images,” prosecutor Margia Mostafa said. 

The images found showed penetrative and sadistic acts being performed on young children as well as images involving scenes of serious violence for the intention of sexual arousal.   

Ms Mostafa explained that images classified as extreme pornographic images can also include sexual images involving penetration with or by dead or alive animals. 

Despite his arrest, Dewey remained on the ballot paper and six days later, on May 6, he was elected as a Labour councillor to the De Beauvoir ward. 

He resigned 11 days later (May 16), triggering a by-election which was won by Labour’s Joe Walker. 

Labour said they were only notified of Dewey’s arrest on May 16 by the council’s chief executive, and at that point he was suspended from the party. 

Before he became a councillor Dewey worked for Hackney Council as an adviser working with the cabinet and mayor and also served as election agent for Hackney South and Shoreditch MP Meg Hillier. 

Hackney Gazette: Tom Dewey pictured on election nightTom Dewey pictured on election night (Image: Julia Gregory)

Defending Dewey, Rhiannon Sadler said her client directed police to the devices when his home was raided and then admitted the offences at the first opportunity. 

Ms Sadler said: “In terms of addressing the problem, he’s been as proactive as he possibly can be.” 

She continued: “What he also did was take responsibility personally by speaking to his family, which we can all accept wouldn’t be easy. He did that immediately, as he did with his employer, and having conversations as well with the Labour party.” 

A probation report said that underlying problems had triggered Dewey’s malicious use of the internet. 

Ms Sadler said: “My Dewey is, in my submission, one of those people who has clearly got to the point where there’s a huge problem to say the least. 

She said that despite “knowing that it was going to destroy his life” he has sought help for his “problem”. 

Judge Jonathan Ashley-Norman KC gave Dewey a one-year prison sentence suspended for two years, meaning he will not be jailed unless he commits another offence during that time. 

He ordered Dewey to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work, a rehabilitation requirement and to pay £500 in costs. 

“Your actions, Mr Dewey, have had a devastating impact on your life and on the lives of your closest family. However, I recognise the steps you have taken to turn your life around,” Judge Ashley-Norman said. 

Dewey, of High Street in East Meon, Hampshire, was also given a 10-year sexual harm prevention order including a provision preventing him from contacting children. 

Judge Ashley-Norman said he was doing this because Dewey provides a medium risk to children, particularly teenage boys.