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Last Updated: Monday, 15 November, 2004, 20:50 GMT
Child porn police officer freed
Former police officer Paul Hook
Paul Hook said he should have spent longer in prison
A former police officer who downloaded almost 4,000 indecent images of children has walked free from court after serving six months in custody.

Paul Hook, 32, from Snodland in Kent, pleaded guilty last month at Maidstone Crown Court to 24 charges of making an indecent photograph of a child.

Hook, of Alex Hughes Close, was jailed for a year on Monday but was freed as he had served six months on remand.

He said after the hearing he thought he should have been jailed for longer.

'Purely artistic'

Hook, a father-of-two who worked for Kent Police, was arrested in June as part of a police crackdown on child porn users.

In addition to the jail sentence, he was given a three-year community rehabilitation order.

There's not much I can say, I deserve what I get
Paul Hook

The court heard that in an interview with police, Hook admitted using his credit card to pay for access to three websites featuring pictures of girls ranging from their early teens up to the age of 18.

He initially said the websites he looked at were purely artistic in nature.

After his hearing on Monday Hook told the BBC: "There's not much I can say, I deserve what I get."

Paid the consequences

Asked if he thought he should have been in prison for longer, he replied: "Yes I do."

Hook said: "Why did I do what I did? That I'm still trying to work out, that's what I've got to go to these courses for, to help me understand why I went wrong.

"We do make mistakes, but we should realise what is what - I've made my mistake, I've paid the consequences.

He added: "I was lucky with what I got but it's still three years I've got to tread carefully, get the help I want and try to get some sort of normality."

Sentencing Hook, Judge Andrew Patience had told him: "Even as we speak I am certain that somewhere on this planet children as young as three are being subjected to horrific acts of cruelty in order to make money.

"They do so because people such as you are prepared to pay for it.

"This is a plague which is inflicting the world."




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