Cop from Milton Keynes jailed over child sex images and extreme porn

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A policeman was jailed for 12 months today after hundreds of child sex abuse images and extreme pornography were found on his computers and mobile phone.

Thames Valley PC Leigh Morris, 31, was arrested by his colleagues at his home in Milton Keynes, who had uncovered his perverted obsession.

When experts examined three computers and the phone, they found many images of children aged between 3 and 10 being abused. One involved a baby.

He had used search terms such as ‘PTHC’ standing for Pre Teen Hard Core, and looked for images of incest between a father and daughter, Luton Crown Court heard today.

Prosecutor Douglas Page said there were 131 images at Category A, the most serious level. 91 were stills and 40 were videos.

222 were at Category B, 217 of those were stills and 5 were videos. 113 were Category C, the lowest level. Those at Category C were all stills.

Two extreme pornography images included women having sex with a dog and horse. There were also 22 pornographic cartoons of sexual activity involving children.

Mr Page said Morris had used file-sharing software and also file-wiping software in an attempt to hide what he had been looking at.

Morris appeared for sentence having pleaded guilty to three counts of making (downloading) indecent photographs of a child, one offence of possessing an extreme pornographic image and one of possessing a prohibited image of a child.

He was sacked by Thames Valley Police on February 28 after a hearing found he had breached Standards of Professional Behaviour.

Defending, Cameron Scott said: “Mr Morris pleaded guilty at first opportunity at the magistrates court.

“He provided passwords to his computer to the police and he has not sought to pass the blame to anyone else.”

Mr Scott said Morris had joined the police as a PCSO in 2007, becoming a Police Constable in 2009.

He said: “He is of previous good character. He displayed exemplary conduct with the police and territorial army.

“He joined the Territorial Army in 2003. He was in full time service from March 2005 to January 2006 in Iraq. He left the TA with an honourable discharge in 2006.”

The barrister said he was ‘deeply ashamed’ of his behaviour and had self-funded a 10 session course with the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, a charity that works with Internet offenders.

He went on: “He has ruined his life by this obsession. His old life is over. He has damaged his family and lost the career he loved. He is in financial dire straights. He faces homelessness unless he finds a source of income.”

Judge Michael Kay QC told him: “The images are horrendous.

“I have heard a lot about you. What one doesn’t hear on these occasions is the position of each one of the children in those images . Each one of those children is a victim and has been abused.

“Each person who downloads these photos is contributing to that market in these horrendous photographs. I don’t overlook terrible fate of small children abused to feed this industry.

“Clearly you carried out your duties as police officer well, but I cannot overlook the fact you were committing offences at the time. Each time a police officer commits offences it harms the trust of the public in the police.”

He passed a 12 month jail sentence. Morris must register as a sex offender for 10 years and abide by the terms of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

An NSPCC spokesperson said: “By downloading these horrific images Morris has betrayed a position of trust and helped to sustain a vile market in child sexual abuse.

“Behind every image is a young, vulnerable victim who will need support to rebuild their lives.

“While Morris has been brought to justice, technology platforms must do more to keep children safe.

“They must realise that they are used to distribute online child sexual abuse images and make a serious commitment to tackling the problem.”

Anyone with concerns about a child can call our helpline on 0808 800 5000. Children can contact Childline anytime on 0800 1111.