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Last Updated: Friday, 25 July, 2003, 16:57 GMT 17:57 UK
Ex-policeman jailed over child porn
A former probationary police officer in Thetford has been jailed for six months for downloading and swapping indecent images of children with a file-sharing program.

Martin Parsons, 31, of Knipe Close, Tacolneston, near Long Stratton, appeared for sentence at Norwich Crown Court on Friday.

He had admitted 12 offences of making indecent photos of children in October last year, and one offence of possessing indecent photos of children for show or distribution.

Richard Wood, prosecuting, told the court Parsons had downloaded images of children involved in sexual activity with each other and with adults.

Music-swapping software

He had then made some of the images available on the net via his file-sharing software, labelled with suggestive titles.

The program was of the sort often used to swap music files, the court was told.

The files were found when police carried out a random investigation of a website which offered a search capability for pornographic files as well as music.

Defending Parsons, Stephen Spence said his client would not have known the level of indecency of files he was downloading, as the program finds files automatically.

'Out of character'

He said Parsons had lost his career and reputation over the case, and had deleted most of the indecent material within a month of receiving it.

After reading references on behalf of Parsons, Judge David Mellor told him: "I have to sentence you for your involvement with child pornography.

"This matter seems to be entirely out of character and the risk of you re-offending is low indeed."

Along with six months in jail, Parsons has been put on the Sex Offenders' Register for seven years, and his computer is to be forfeited and destroyed.

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