Policeman found with ‘disgusting’ child porn walks free from court
By Daily Mail Reporter
Policeman found with ‘disgusting’ child porn in sting operation walks free from court
A policeman caught with a child porn stash after bragging about it online has been spared jail.
The Metropolitan Police sergeant was trapped in an online sting by an Australian officer, but walked free from court yesterday.
Antony Vodden, 46, kept 110 vile images on his home PC, including 12 at the second highest level of severity.
He was investigated by police after he contacted a female undercover detective from Australia via a chat room used by paedophiles.
Vodden, a police sergeant for 24 years, was given a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for 15 months, at Southwark Crown Court yesterday.
Judge John Price said: ‘You downloaded images of children being abused. It was perverted and disgusting behaviour.
‘This was real children being abused, they were not cartoon figures, they were real children being abused by adults.’
Jurors heard how Vodden was snared after sending obscene message to the Australian officer, including claims he had molested children aged 10 and 15.
He was heard to have made contact with a user with the pseudonym Fcuknolimits and the email address email@example.com on Google Hello on March 27, 2008.
Following the exchanges police raided Vodden’s home and seized his computer. The images were discovered by a police computer expert, having been deleted from the hard drive.
In addition to the photographs Vodden was also heard to have made Google searches indicating an interest in finding child pornography, including one which read ‘pre-teen model’.
Prosecutor James Norman said: ‘Anthony Vodden falls to be sentenced today for the offences of which he was convicted in December 2010.
‘They are 13 offences of making indecent photographs of children which arose from the finding of 110 such images on his computer when it was examined following his arrest.’
He said that of the 110 images 12 were level four images, six were level three, eight were level two and 84 were level one images. The highest level of severity is five.
Defence counsel Guy Ladenburg said Vodden, who had been abused as a child, was off work with a broken ankle at the time of the offences.
He said: ‘There was a trauma buried very deeply in his past that was surfacing at the time of the indictment.’
But the judge replied: ‘It is part of your mitigation that you were abused, and I have no reason to doubt that, but you should have realised if it happened to you what effect that can have, so to download and look at children being abused is totally beyond my comprehension.’
Vodden, of Uxbridge, Middlesex, was ordered to sign on to the sex offenders register for ten years, told he must attend an internet sex offender programme for 60 days and made to contribute £500 towards the cost of his trial.
He was cleared following a retrial earlier this year of one count of distributing indecent photographs of children.