A FORMER honorary police officer has been jailed for three-and-a-half years after being found in possession of more than 4,000 indecent images of children.
Peter John Windsor (80), who served with the St Clement force between 2005 and 2014, admitted the offences but claimed he was hunting for evidence to catch paedophiles.
But Royal Court Jurats on Friday rejected his version of events – and found that he downloaded the images for his own ‘sexual gratification’.
The court heard that Windsor amassed 4,601 indecent images over the course of at least two years, and had sent 480 of them to ten email addresses.
Of those he distributed, 43 were classed as ‘category A’ pictures – the most serious category involving images of extreme child abuse.
Crown Advocate Lauren Hallam, prosecuting, told the court that when police officers arrived at Windsor’s house in July last year he was fully co-operative, admitting the offences and providing passwords to his computers.
The advocate told the court: ‘He said: “It’s a horrible game. I’ve been involved with it for a while.”’
She said Windsor claimed he had been lonely following the death of his wife and had visited chat websites in which some users had mentioned an interest in pictures of underage girls.
He claimed he sought to find out more about them in order to pass their names and addresses to the police.
Advocate David Steenson, defending, said the crimes were ‘so contrary to the way he has conducted himself for the vast majority of his life’.
Referencing Windsor’s nine years as an honorary police officer, the advocate added: ‘His life of public service has been blighted in its final chapter.’
He said Windsor had been naïve not to realise the harm caused in downloading the images.
The court heard that Windsor had a number of health problems. He has had a triple heart bypass, suffered from Crohn’s disease, was in remission from cancer and was taking a number of different medications.
Advocate Steenson said his client accepted that a custodial sentence was inevitable, but told the court: ‘A prison sentence is unlikely to help anyone significantly. I would ask the court to be as lenient and merciful as it can be.’
The Bailiff, Sir Timothy Le Cocq, said the Jurats agreed with Crown Advocate Hallam’s request for a sentence of three years and six months. Windsor was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register for at least five years.
Addressing the defendant, the Bailiff said: ‘We do not accept the explanation that you have given – that you were collecting evidence. This was for your sexual gratification.’
And he stressed that downloading indecent images of children was never a victimless crime.
He said: ‘Real children are abused in the creation of this material, and it was naïve in the extreme that you did not appreciate the true nature of this abhorrent trade.’
Jurats Andrew Cornish and Michael Entwistle were sitting.
Anyone who has concerns about suspected child sexual abuse or exploitation can contact Jersey’s Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub on 519000, or the Public Protection Unit at the States police headquarters on 612612.