Former council official in court on indecent images charges

Trevor Stewart.
Trevor Stewart.

The former top local government official has been sent for trial accused of more than 30 offences relating to indecent images of children.

John Trevor Stewart (61), of Grannystown Road, Portglenone was charged with 36 counts of having and possessing indecent images of children on various dates between September 25, 2007 and August 29, 2013.

Stewart, who was head of Antrim Borough Council’s Environmental Services, is also facing three further charges of possessing prohibited images of children.

Although no facts surrounding the allegations were opened in Antrim Crown Court, a prosecuting lawyer submitted there is a Prima Facie case against Stewart based on the legal papers and statements, a stance with which his defence lawyer took no issue.

Although Stewart was told that he had the right to comment on the charges, give evidence to the court or call witnesses on his behalf - but with a warning that they faces cross examination - he declined.

Returning the case to Antrim Crown Court for trial, District Judge Alan White released Stewart on continuing bail and ordered him to appear before the higher court on 9 October.

Stewart was released on his own bail of £300 and is barred from approaching or entering the offices of Antrim Borough Council, from initiating contact with any council employee without prior knowledge of the public protection unit and “must not possess, use, have access to, or direct any third party to do so on his behalf, any forms of electronic device, which can access the internet.”