A FORMER Assembly Member has been given a suspended sentence today (Wednesday, October 31) after pleading guilty to making hundreds of indecent images of children.

Simon Thomas, 54, admitted three counts of making indecent images of children when he appeared at Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, October 3.

During sentencing at Mold Magistrates' Court today, the judge said Thomas had no previous convictions and there was no evidence of making or distributing indecent images, only possessing them.

More than 600 indecent pictures and videos of children were found at the former Plaid Cymru AM’s home.

Thomas pleaded guilty to making 94 still and 56 moving images of category A, 87 still and 16 moving images of category B, and 354 still and five moving images of category C.

Richard Williams, defending, said the case had put a strain on Thomas' family, and that he was anxious to address the issues.

Thomas was handed a 26-week prison sentence, suspended for two years and he must sign the sex offenders register for the next seven years.

A deprivation order was made of the electronic items, with costs of £85 and a surcharge of £115.

A sexual harm prevention order was also made for seven years, meaning Thomas must retain his internet history and make it available to police on request.

An NSPCC spokesman said: “Within these images are young victims of abuse and by possessing them, Thomas has fuelled the demand in this awful trade. It is not a victimless crime.

“His actions betrayed the trust placed in him by the communities he represented at Cardiff Bay and Westminster and it’s now extremely important that he receives appropriate rehabilitation as part of his sentence.

“Ridding images like these from the internet must be a priority for tech companies, government and law enforcement.”