A SOLIHULL Conservative councillor has admitted sexual assault and been ordered to register as a sex offender.
Ian Hillas, who represents Castle Bromwich ward, admitted kissing a 16-year-old girl on the cheek and neck as they danced alone at a party, when he appeared at Wolverhampton Crown Court.
The 43-year-old of Oakwood Croft, was give a conditional discharge after changing his plea to guilty shortly before he was due to face a jury trial.
He was also ordered to pay £2,151 costs.
His barrister Sarah Buckingham, said Mr Hillas, the former deputy leader of Solihull Council, and former chairman of its all - party overview and scrutiny management board, had had his life destroyed by a moment of ‘utter madness’.
The court heard that the offence took place at around 4am at a house party in Cradley Heath on May 17 last year.
Other people present at the party had gone to bed.
The councillor was ordered to register as a sex offender for 12 months.
Judge Michael Challinor said: “It is clear that you became attracted to this 16-year-old girl and unwisely kissed her while dancing.
“No doubt you thought she may have responded favourably.
“The real punishment for you has been the process of prosecution and appearance before the court, branded, as you now are, a sex offender.”
Coun Ken Meeson (Con), leader of Solihull Council said: “Coun Hillas has been suspended from the Conservative group since the allegations and we will be holding a meeting.
“At the moment he has not contacted me about this.
“However he has not been convicted of an offence which would debar him from being a councillor.”