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Ex Hull councillor jailed for a year for child abuse images

Disgraced councillor Steve Bayes
Disgraced councillor Steve Bayes
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THE former vice-chair of Hull’s City of Culture company was told he is “still in denial” by a Judge as he jailed him for 12 months for making indecent photos of children.

Steven Bayes, 56, a former Hull councillor for 32 years and ex-deputy chair of the Co-operative Group board, had tried to “save his skin” by deliberately pointing the finger at another “vulnerable” man, who has mental health problems, Record Richard Woolfall said.

Bayes, who had been the public face of City of Culture and a nurse at Hull Royal Infirmary until being suspended in 2016, was found guilty at a trial in April of two counts of making indecent photographs of children and a third of possessing extreme pornographic images, involving animals and men.

After police raided his flat in 2016, they recovered a laptop in which forensic examination later revealed indecent images and film clips of children thought to be as young as seven.

Recorder Woolfall told Hull Crown Court the attempt to pass the buck was a “particularly worrying” aspect of the case.

He said the effect on the children who had been subject of the images and videos “will undoubtedly be with them for the rest of their lives.”

The Judge said character references had spoken highly of the former councillor, adding: “Your reputation now lies in tatters but that is entirely of your own making.”

Bayes spent nearly five years on the Co-operative Group Board but was voted off in a shake-up in 2014.

During the trial it emerged that Bayes, who called himself Lord of Darkness on Twitter, kept hundreds of pornographic images in a desktop folder Steven Pictures/Despicable which he posted under the handle Satan666Lord.

Council leader Steve Brady condemned his former colleague, adding: “As a parent, grandparent and someone whose political life has been focussed on supporting the people of our city, I am appalled at these offences which fuel the abuse and victimisation of young people.”

Mike Wright, Chief Nurse for Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust said: “We have cooperated fully with police enquiries relating to Mr Bayes’ employment at the Trust, however it is important to stress that the matters discussed in court related to conduct outside of his NHS role. Mr Bayes is no longer an employee of the Trust.”

Bayes will be subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and on the Sex Offenders Register for the next 10 years.

The NSPCC is calling on the Government, law enforcement and internet providers to prevent sickening images of child abuse from being published online in the first place.

A spokesman said Bayes had been elected into a position of power and trust and the sentence “reflects his betrayal of that faith shown in him.

“By downloading this material he has fuelled a vile trade in indecent images. Each portrays a crime scene and every time an image is shared online the knowledge that it could be repeatedly viewed, and in some cases may never be removed, causes on-going trauma that a survivor of child abuse has to live with.”