A former police officer discovered with 1,000 indecent photos of youngsters at his house has been spared jail because of his “good work” to find paedophiles.
Lee Kelly was because of get a commendation from Higher Manchester Police for his undercover work earlier than his house was raided in 2016.
The 50-year-old admitted making and possessing indecent photos of youngsters at Preston Crown Courtroom.
On Friday he was given a 10-month sentence, suspended for 2 years.
Decide Andrew Woolman advised Kelly his offences had crossed the custodial threshold however stated it could be “unjust” to ship him to jail instantly.
He stated he would droop the sentence due to the officer’s earlier “good work” throughout 19 years of service with the pressure.
Richard Haworth, prosecuting, stated Kelly had been assigned to GMP’s undercover on-line staff from 2008 and later grew to become a canopy officer during which he had duty for the welfare of officers utilizing false profiles pretending to be kids or paedophiles.
The staff operated from a safe constructing and work at home was “solely not often authorised”, the courtroom was advised.
The courtroom heard his foundation of plea was that he was not searching for sexual gratification, and though the Crown Prosecution Service “didn’t settle for that as such”, it didn’t search a trial of situation to find out precisely why he downloaded the pictures.
Lisa Roberts QC, defending, stated Kelly, who beforehand lived within the Burnley space, conceded he had gone about his job in a “wholly improper approach” and had proven real regret.
Sentencing, Decide Woolman advised Kelly: “You gained, little question, loads of technical information as to how the darkish net labored and the way folks exchanged photos of youngsters and the like.
“Fairly wrongly and in a dreadful abuse of belief you used that information for your self.
“You might have broken your self, you misplaced your job some months in the past.”
He concluded: “I can, simply, justify the suspension of a jail sentence and I am doing that due to course you had been of excellent character and due to all the great work you’ve got carried out for the police earlier than you introduced shame upon your self.
“To destroy your life additional, whereas it could ship a message out, could be unjust to you.”
Kelly can be on the intercourse offenders’ register for 10 years.