A DISGRACED former Dudley councillor and magistrate who took hundreds of indecent images and films of two young boys has been given a suspended jail term and ordered to register as a sex offender.

Derrick Hemingsley who was also a school governor, a prospective Parliamentary candidate and a regular churchgoer had experienced a "spectacular fall from grace," Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.

The actions of Hemingsley, who represented the Wordsley ward for the Labour Party, had left one victim - an 11-year-old - "scared and shocked" while the second boy, now 13, suffered from depression.

The 57-year-old wanted to use the young boys to help promote his Pensnett based car products business but he never considered the photos or films to be indecent - stressed Simon Hunka, defending.

He said Hemingsley had been a magistrate who sat in judgement of others but, in this case, he had allowed his own judgement to be "clouded".

Mr Hunka said: "The images were indecent but he did not hold that view" as he maintained the former councillor - described as dedicating his life to the community - did not appreciate he was breaking the law.

There was no doubt the images had an impact on the two boys, said Mr Hunka, and Hemingsley had made the wrong decision when he asked them to pose stripped to the waist for their photo shoots.

Judge Amjad Nawaz said it was clear Hemingsley was a man with an exceptionally good character who had worked hard for the public.

Any sort of criminal offending for a man in his position was most serious, he went on, but there was a stigma when he had been charged with taking indecent images of children.

The images, he told Hemingsley, were not of the worst kind that came before the courts - they were all in category C which was the lowest level of child pornography.

But he had continued taking the images for a significant period of time and he should have known the pitfalls of working with young children.

There was no evidence, said the judge, that Hemingsley encouraged any sexual conversation or act with the boys and that made the case "different".

Hemingsley, of Penzer Street, Kingswinford, admitted two charges of taking indecent photographs of children and he was given a 10-month jail term suspended for two years.

He was further ordered by the judge to register as a sex offender for the next five years and to pay £500 towards the costs of the prosecution.

The judge told him he had to thank the many people who had given him their support since his arrest - adding: "You have lost your substantial good character and you will never get it back."

Robert Price, prosecuting, said Hemingsley admitted the charges on the basis he did not accept the images were indecent but he said it was his case the motivation must have been "predominately sexual".

He said Hemingsley was an upstanding member of the community and he took photographs of the boys as they posed in beach and sportswear.

A number of the images had been posted online but Hemingsley said he had blocked people from watching them on 30 or 40 occasions because of inappropriate remarks made by a "glut of weirdos".

When interviewed by police after his arrest - Hemingsley, who committed the offences between September 2014 and December 2015, admitted he had clearly made mistakes as he stressed there had been no sexual motivation.

It had all been done to help promote his business although it was plain, said Mr Price, the offending had a profound effect on the boys and their parents.

Mr Price said police found 469 indecent images on Hemingsley's computer together with 17 videos - all of which he maintained were to be used in advertising his business.

The boys had been paid for posing for the images and there were 50 occasions when the one victim had been asked to remove his top - something that made him feel "uncomfortable".

When the first boy's parents stopped him from working for Hemingsley, who has now been forced to work outside the area, he then employed the second victim.

Mr Hunka said he had already been punished for what he did because he felt he could no longer go into Dudley town centre.

He had once been a very proud man and he had gone through a "significant fall from grace".

Hemingsley, the former Friends of Wordsley Park chairman, had initially denied any wrongdoing but he later made the decision to plead guilty on the basis he did not consider the images to be indecent when he took them.