Saturday, 21 June 2008

Pedophile policeman jailed

Sentenced … Scott Ward's collection "constituted the worst kind of child pornography".

A POLICEMAN who kept thousands of child pornography images on his home computer and who kept a provocative video of a young girl in his work locker has been sentenced to more than three years in jail.

Scott Gerard Leslie Ward, 42, a Bankstown police officer, pleaded guilty to three charges of possessing child pornography and using a carriage service to access and transmit child porn for about 10 years.

Ward resigned from his job shortly after being charged with the offences in August 2007.

Federal police found more than 7000 child porn images on computer disks and a computer hard drive in Ward's home, along with hundreds of videos depicting children as young as two performing or simulating sexual acts, the court heard.

Some of the images depicted real or simulated child sex abuse, bondage and bestiality.

For years, Ward had visited child pornography websites and chat forums on the internet to discuss his preference for prepubescent girls and trade explicit images with others online, the Sydney District Court heard.

In one online conversation with an undercover police officer in the US, Ward expressed a desire to drug one of the girls he had filmed but said he "chickened out". Videos in his collection showed Ward performing a sexual act while dressed in women's underwear. A bag of women's underwear was found by police in his work locker, the court was told.

Three other videos showed girls aged eight and nine, who were known to Ward, undressing for a shower. They were shot with a hidden camera.

However, these could be considered in evidence only as to Ward's character and were not deemed part of any charges against him, as they did not constitute child pornography under the law.

The court was told that Ward began viewing adult pornography on his home computer when he suspected his wife (from whom he has since separated) was involved with another man. He then began viewing and trading child pornography.

Judge Brian Knox said the images constituted the worst kind of child pornography and that his actions had been "abhorrent".

However, he said Ward had shown genuine remorse and had sought psychological help.

That Ward had kept some of the explicit material in a police station showed either a high level of addiction, "reckless or arrogant behaviour" or a desire to be caught, or perhaps an element of all three, the judge said.

Family members of two of the girls filmed by Ward, who cannot be named, were in court yesterday for the sentencing, as was one of the girls, now 12.

Her father saud he was disappointed by the length of the sentence given to Ward, whom he described as "despicable".

"We placed that man in a position of trust in regards to our daughter and he betrayed and manipulated us with no thought of the effect on our daughter," he said outside court.

Ward will be eligible for parole in September 2011.

No comments: