FORMER Ceredigion MP Simon Thomas has today (Wednesday, October 31) been given a suspended jail sentence after pleading guilty to making hundreds of indecent images of children.

Thomas, 54, admitted three counts of making indecent images of children when he appeared at Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court earlier this month.

He was back before District Judge Gwyn Jones today at Mold Law Courts for sentence, where he 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 victim 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.

More than 600 indecent pictures and videos of children were found at the Penparcau, Aberystwyth home of the former Ceredigion MP and former Plaid Cymru AM for Mid and West Wales.

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.

Thomas, who was the area’s MP between 2000 and 2005, resigned from Plaid Cymru and his role as AM following his arrest back in July. His seat in the Senedd has been taken by Helen Mary Jones.

Following the hearing, 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.”