Ex-PSNI officer jailed over indecent images of children
A former police officer has been sentenced to 13 and a half months after pleading guilty to misconduct in public office and possession of more than 16,000 indecent images of children.
Robert Jason Ainscough, 34, was sentenced at Craigavon Crown Court.
In 2016, a woman made police aware of images he had sent her of himself while on duty. After this, a number of his electronic devices were seized.
The judge said Ainscough was a “disgraced man”.
The court heard Ainscough had consensually exchanged explicit messages with three women while on duty.
Some of the images were taken at Lurgan and Banbridge police stations, as well as in a police vehicle.
No formal complaint was made by any of the women involved.
The court also heard Ainscough had used the police computer to access personal details of one woman without legitimate reason, that he had shared a confidential incident log with another as well as sharing confidential details of an individual to a third woman.
Analysis of 10 devices owned by Ainscough, who is originally from Dublin, but whose address was given as Lurgan police station, also uncovered 16,681 indecent images of children.
The vast majority were described as being at the lower level Category C, with eight Category B items.
Ainscough has already been dismissed from the PSNI.
He will now serve half of his sentence in prison with the remainder on licence.
In addition, he will be subject to a 10-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order and disqualified from working with children.
The judge said Ainscough had “lost his career, his good character and the respect he would have had in the community”.
Shamed ex-PSNI officer discovered with stash of 16,000 child abuse images
THIS is the shamed ex-cop who built up a sordid stash of 16,000 indecent images of children.
Robert Jason Ainscough was rumbled after police launched a probe over claims he had been sending women pictures of his privates while in uniform.
One of his victims told The Irish Sun he had sent her x-rated snaps from the toilets of a Co Down PSNI station.
Ainscough, 34, originally from Dublin, was sacked and charged with a number of offences.
Yesterday he was due to be sentenced for misconduct in public office and making indecent images of children at Craigavon Crown Court.
But Judge Roseanne McCormick QC delayed her decision until Monday saying: “I want to consider all matters very carefully.”
Ainscough, whose address was given as c/o Lurgan PSNI station, pleaded guilty to six counts of misconduct in public office.
He also admitted 13 charges of making indecent images of children.
All the offences were committed between 2014 and 2016.
Prosecutor Nicola Auret said Ainscough exchanged sexually explicit messages, including texts, photographs and videos with three different women while on duty.
A constable for eight years, he also used the police computer to access and share personal information on two of the women.
Ms Auret said the offences were brought to light in September 2016 when one of the women came forward.
She told the court: “The photos indicated a male in full police uniform exposing his penis.”
The photos and videos were taken in the toilet of Banbridge PSNI station.
She said that “all the texting was consensual.”
That investigation led police to seize computer hard drives and memory sticks from Ainscough’s home.
It was then that detectives found 16,681 indecent images of children.
Ms Auret outlined how the vast majority, some 16,673 images and videos, were classified in the lowest category C, with eight being classified as B
Earlier, one of his victims – who did not give evidence in the case – told us how they met on dating website Plenty of Fish as she was emerging from an abusive relationship.
She said: “He just kept sending me pictures and asking for more pictures from me.
“I did send him pictures and it went on like that for a while but I got into a bit of a spiral when they started to become flirty.”
She said the officer began sending shots of himself in uniform, then of himself in civilian clothes and flashing his manhood.
She added: “He had no concerns, he seemed to think there was no problem with any of it.
“Things tailed off but he would always get back to me asking for more and more photos. It really started to freak me out.”
Ainscough was freed on continuing bail until Monday morning.