Sussex child porn police sergeant Philip Savidge jailed

Philip Savidge
Image caption Philip Savidge admitted 42 charges relating to 54,323 images

A former Sussex Police officer has been jailed after pleading guilty to making and distributing more than 50,000 indecent images of children.

Philip Savidge, 26, of Alexandra Road, Burgess Hill, was an acting sergeant with Sussex Police at East Grinstead.

He admitted 42 charges relating to the making and distribution of 54,323 images, which included 1,681 prohibited and extreme images.

He was sentenced at Lewes Crown Court to 27 months' imprisonment.

Savidge was served with a Sexual Offence Prevention Order designed to restrict his access to and use of computer equipment.

The court also made a destruction order for the material and equipment seized by police.

'Wicked and evil'

He resigned from the police force on the day he was arrested on 20 September last year at the home he shared with his parents and brothers.

His arrest followed an investigation into file-sharing programmes by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre and the Sussex Paedophile Online Investigation Team.

The images, some of which were at the highest level five category, were found by police on two computer hard drives and three memory sticks.

The collection, described by a judge as "horrendous", included 35 extreme pictures involving animals.

The court heard that Savidge used the username babypass2004 on a file-sharing website to distribute the indecent still and moving images, which featured children aged between four and 12.

It was also told that Savidge was a scout leader, working with mainly boys, and also had contact with children as a cricket coach, and in his work with police cadets.

None of the offences involved contact by Savidge with the children, with all the images having been previously generated and shared online.

Sentencing him, Judge Richard Brown told the ex-policeman: "These are, in my view, wicked and evil offences.

"Each picture represents a child being abused. There are a horrendous number of images in this case.

"Although it doesn't influence this case, you, as a police officer, should have realised the seriousness of what you were doing."

After the case, Det Insp Alison Eaton, of Sussex Police's specialist crime directorate, said: "This case involved more than 54,000 images and videos of children, some of them babies and toddlers suffering serious abuse from adults.

"We must never forget that children are being assaulted so that these images can be produced and distributed via the web for the sexual gratification of paedophiles."

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