A FORMER Worcester UKIP candidate –- who has since converted to Islam – has been sentenced for possessing indecent photographs of children.

Jason Phillips, who stood in the city’s 2007 elections for the Arboretum ward, had previously admitted downloading two indecent images of a child.

Sallie Hewitt, prosecuting, said police were alerted to Phillips when he sent sexually offensive messages to friends of his new girlfriend’s ex-husband through the social networking site Facebook.

When questioned by police he told them he had sent the message to be as offensive as possible.

Police officers seized his computer and in December 2008 it was found to contain the images, which were deemed to be Level 2 photos – the most serious being Level 5.

One had been placed into the computer recycling bin.

Mrs Hewitt said Phillips told police four years previously a friend had downloaded adult porn on to his computer as he thought it was funny, but had deleted it.

In mitigation, Paul Stanley said Phillips had sent the messages after receiving unpleasant messages himself.

Mr Stanley said Phillips was unhappy about being in court and pleading guilty to these offences.

“It’s a possession matter only in relation to two stills which might or might not be real,” he said.

“It has been for him a very difficult period of time. He has never been in trouble with the court before.”

The 33-year-old, of Cyril Road, Rainbow Hill, who has now changed his name by deed poll after converting to Islam to Abdullah Nasser Jihad, will now have to sign the sex offenders register for five years.

Magistrates also sentenced him to a community order with two requirements – that he attend a sex offenders group programme and be supervised for three years.

He was also ordered to pay £60 in costs and a forfeiture and destruction order was made on the computer.

In a letter Phillips wrote to your Worcester News the day before he was sentenced, he explained how he had converted to Islam.

Phillips also said he had been very depressed.