A SADDLEWORTH Parish councilor has been sentenced after being found guilty by a crown court jury of downloading indecent images of naked young boys.
Michael Buckley, 68, was convicted at Minshull Street Crown Court in December of 16 counts of making – referring in these instances to downloading – the images.
Returning for his sentence in January, he was told by Judge Jonathan Foster QC that he had “lived an exemplary and upstanding life” but this trial was a “public fall from grace”.
Buckley, who lives in Dobcross, must take part in the Internet Sexual Offenders Treatment Programme, which includes 35 two-hour sessions with extra work in between.
A 28-day curfew between 8am and 4pm will be imposed on the independent Parish Councillor from Monday, January 18.
He will be supervised by the Probation Service for the next two years and will also be subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for five years.
Buckley, an independent Parish Councillor, must pay prosecution costs of £2,000 in the next six months, and his computers on which the indecent images were found will be destroyed.
Judge Foster QC told the court: “I have four references from members of the community in support of your work, role as a councilor, work for the local church and as an author in respect to local heritage.
“But I sit as a judge in a crown court and we need to recognise the fact that a criminal offence has been committed. It is a public fall from grace and that is your chief punishment.”
The images – deemed as lowest category c – were discovered after police executed a search warrant at Buckley’s home in March 2014 and seized computers and hard drives.
They included still and moving images of naked boys in groups or individually swimming in a pool, playing with water blasters, skinny dipping, and playing sports.