A FORMER Stourport councillor and leader of Wyre Forest District Council has admitted making indecent photographs of a child.

The Shuttle has learned that James Shaw, who served as leader of the council for eight years in the 1990s, pleaded guilty to the crime at Worcester Crown Court on September 11 this year.

Shaw, of Heightington Place in Stourport, was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for 18 months.

The offence was committed in Stourport between January and July 2018 - during which time he was serving as Labour ward member for Areley Kings and Riverside on the district council.

Now aged 68, Shaw served the Stourport community since the 1980s, both as a representative for Stourport Town Council and a local school governor. He also worked for the education service at Worcestershire County Council.

He was the second longest serving councillor for Wyre Forest District Council, having served on it for 32 years until his resignation in November last year, citing ill-health.

At the time of his resignation, Wyre Forest Council issued a statement thanking Shaw for his "long and dedicated service to the council" and wishing him well for the future. Wyre Forest Labour also thanked him for his "diligent service over the last 32 years".

This week, Wyre Forest Council confirmed the child sex offence did not involve the use of any council computers.

A district council spokesman said: "This is a private matter.

"The council can confirm that the offences did not involve use of any council resources.

"Mr Shaw resigned on November 28, 2018 because he could not carry out the duties expected of a district councillor because of ill-health.

"We will be making no further comment.”

A spokesman for Wyre Forest Safer Neighbourhood Team said the investigation into Shaw was conducted by Kidderminster CID and concluded in September.

Worcestershire County Council confirmed that Shaw no longer works for the council and was not a county council employee during the time of the offence.

Both West Mercia Police and Wyre Forest Labour declined to comment.