December 2020

Police officer had stash of “disgusting” child sexual abuse images

A police officer who had a stash of “disgusting” child sexual abuse images on his phone has been sentenced.

Ryan David Anderson had 724 images, including 149 in the most serious category, Carlisle Crown Court heard.

Many of the images were of “small children if not babies”, prosecutor Alison Mather said.

Anderson has been sentenced to two years in prison suspended for two years, with a judge saying his fall from grace was “spectacular”.

The 39-year-old, of Edgehill Road in Carlisle, pleaded guilty to seven offences.

The court heard Anderson was working a PC for Police Scotland in the Borders, when Cumbria Police visited his home on 11 May and seized his phone.

He admitted three charges of making indecent photographs of a child, two of possessing extreme pornographic images, one charge of distributing an indecent category A image and one of publishing an obscene article discussing child sex abuse, arising from online chat with another individual.

‪Anderson had provided officers with passwords for several devices seized. Only one, an iPhone, contained illicit material.

Recorder Julian Shaw said the images were “disgusting” but he had decided not to jail Anderson after hearing he had taken steps to address his behaviour and needed professional help.

“Your fall from a position in society where you were respected and indeed possessed a quite considerable authority and power has been spectacular,” the judge said.

‬”You have brought that upon yourself solely because of your behaviour.”‬

‪Anderson must complete a 30-day rehabilitation requirement, 160 hours of unpaid work and a three-month electronically monitored night-time curfew.

He must also abide by the strict terms of a sexual harm prevention order and sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.