A PROMINENT Worcestershire councillor has been charged with possessing indecent photographs of a child.

Malvern Hills district councillor Michael Angell is accused of 17 separate counts of possessing indecent photographs on Wednesday, November 15, 2006. The Liberal Democrat/Green councillor, who was elected in 2003, appeared at Worcester Magistrates Court on Tuesday, April 3. The case was adjourned until Wednesday, May 23, to enable the Crown Prosecution Service to decide on the seriousness of the charges. If he is found to be in possession of the images and they are deemed to be serious, then the case may be sent to crown court.

A court spokesman confirmed Angell, who represents Chase ward, had not entered a plea.

Malvern Hills District Council confirmed the allegations and Di Rayner, leader of the council and the Liberal Democrat party, said: "I am aware of what has been happening to Mike Angell, but am not prepared to discuss that; that's obviously a police matter. He has only been charged and has not been found guilty."

Coun Rayner said Angell, of King Edwards Road, Malvern Wells, resigned from the party in November 2006.

She added: "He has been indisposed since November (2006) and he hasn't been to any council meetings since November and is no longer a member of the Liberal Democrats."

When asked if Angell's resignation could cause the party to lose control of the council, she added: "There's four weeks of this council to run and at this stage I don't think it's relevant."

A council spokeswoman said Angell would not be standing for the May elections.

Angell was unavailable for comment as the Worcester News went to press.