Ex-David Cameron aide, walks free for making indecent child pictures as judge says punishment is his ‘very public humiliation’
A former aide to Prime Minister David Cameron has been given a two-year conditional discharge after downloading indecent pictures of girls as young as 10 in sexual poses.
Patrick Rock, 65, of Fulham had faced 20 charges of making an indecent photograph of a child, but argued the 20 images he downloaded on to his iPad over three days in August 2013 were not indecent.
A jury at Southwark Crown Court in London deliberated for more than eight hours on Tuesday and Wednesday before convicting him of five counts and acquitting him of three others.
Jurors were discharged after being unable to agree on the 12 other counts, which will lie on file.
Judge Alistair McCreath sentenced Rock to a two-year conditional discharge on each count, to run concurrently.
The judge said: “I have not lost sight of the obvious reality that right-thinking people will quite properly consider that those who did what you did should be punished for it.
“You should be. And you have been. The punishment for you is the loss of your reputation and your very public humiliation.
“It is a punishment which you brought on yourself, but is nonetheless a very real one. And it is one that is utterly merited.”
Rock must register as a sex offender for the duration of the two years and was also banned from using a device with the internet unless it can retain his browsing history and he surrenders it for inspection by police on request over the same period.
The court heard that the youngest of the girls in the pictures was just 10 when he downloaded it – meaning she would have been younger when it was taken.
The court heard Rock downloaded the images at a golf club while on a trip to visit family in the US.