Disgraced former councillor Julian Mineur was today told he had “betrayed the people of Blackpool” after he was convicted of downloading sickening images of children.
Mineur, 59, was found guilty by a jury yesterday of five offences – three of making and two of possessing indecent images of children – following a four-day trial at Preston Crown Court.
The court heard how police discovered Mineur, who represented the Conservative Party on the Greenlands ward between 2007 and 2011, had accessed both still and moving images after officers carried out searches of his homes in Sackville Avenue and Common Edge Road, Blackpool.
Mineur was warned by a trial judge he may be sent to prison when he returns to court to be sentenced on March 6.
Today, Coun Chris Ryan, ward councillor in Greenlands said Mineur, who was a director at Armed Forces shop Supporting Our Brave, in Bank Hey Street, had a “position of trust” which he had “betrayed”.
He added: “I am in total shock.
“He (Mineur) had his role with all the old soldiers in the town that he dealt with and I know how upset they are about the issue.
“I’m glad it has finally come to rest. As someone who has children and grandchildren, it is not nice to hear.
“Whatever they do to him I hope he gets what he deserves.
“He was in a position of trust in his role as councillor.
“He has betrayed all the people of Blackpool.”
Fellow Greenlands representative Coun Christine Wright, who faced Mineur during the 2011 local election when he stood as an independent candidate, said: “I’m very shocked about the news.
“I hope the sentence is fitting for the crimes. He held a position of authority – a position people look up to and placed trust in.”
The charges were brought after a laptop computer was seized by police.
Mineur had been suspended by the Tory group in 2011 amid a fraud inquiry.
The former Ministry of Defence worker denied he had downloaded the indecent images on the laptop.
He claimed others used his computer equipment and that they would have known his passwords.
He told the court: “Staff, volunteers, services users, families of services users all had access to it,” adding there were no restrictions on their use.
Mineur also claimed people were allowed to take laptops home from the shop and that an “open policy” existed on the use of the computer equipment, though that was later changed.
Mineur spoke of using a particular application to download music and films.
He also alleged some images had “popped up” on screen, but he insisted “if I had seen it I would have deleted it, without a shadow of a doubt”.
Mineur stepped down as director and project manager of Supporting Our Brave on the same day he was charged in 2012.
He will now be sentenced on March 6.
After the verdicts were returned, Mineur’s barrister, Chris Hudson, asked for a pre-sentence report to be compiled on the defendant before sentencing took place.
He said: “The probability is he will receive a custodial sentence. He is aware of that”.
The judge, Recorder Geoffrey Lowe, told Mineur: “These are serious matters and all sentencing options, up to and including custody, are available to the court”.