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2 serving Police officers convicted of child sex offences

A serving police officer from Kent has been sentenced after he admitted viewing child abuse material online.

Following a search of his address officers seized a number of digital devices, including his phone and laptop, which were forensically analysed.

Thomas Blant, 38, was arrested in January 2020 after NCA investigators identified that a website hosting child sexual abuse material had been accessed via TOR (The Onion Router) from his house in Wye, Ashford.

TOR, the tool which offers anonymous online browsing and access to the dark web, had been downloaded on the laptop, as well as a computer cleaning app, which can be used to remove traces of illegal activity.

Following a search of his address officers seized a number of digital devices, including his phone and laptop, which were forensically analysed.

17 indecent images of children (IIOC), made up of categories A and C, were recovered from Blant’s laptop, despite his attempts to delete them.

A further four indecent images of children were also recovered from one of Blant’s old mobile phones.

He was released on bail and further arrested in February 2020 following analysis of his devices.

Blant was working as a constable for Kent Police at the time of his offending.

He was suspended from duty upon his initial arrest and has since been dismissed from the force.

On 22 July 2021 he pleaded guilty to two counts of making IIOC at Folkestone Magistrates Court.

Today [06/10/2021] at Maidstone Crown Court he was handed a 12 month jail term suspended for two years, a five year Sexual Harm Prevention Order and placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years.

Martin Ludlow from the National Crime Agency said: “Blant’s offending is an outrageous misuse of trust.

“His role as a police officer was to protect the public. Instead, he sought out images of child abuse for his own sexual gratification.

Offenders who view such material online only encourage those willing to sexually abuse children in the real world.

“Combatting this threat remains one of the highest priorities for the NCA.

We are committed to targeting the most dangerous offenders and those who, like Blant, go to great lengths to hide their activity, believing they can operate with impunity online.

“As this investigation shows, there is nowhere to hide.

We will use all of the tools at our disposal to identify those who pose a sexual threat to children and ensure they are brought to justice.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Jon Armory, Kent Police’s Head of Professional Standards, said: “It is abhorrent that Blant has committed these offences, particularly while working as a police officer.

“His actions helped fuel the demand for children to be exploited which is a complete betrayal of his duty to protect the vulnerable.

“Blant was suspended from our force as soon as the allegations were first received and we fully supported our colleagues in the National Crime Agency with their criminal investigation.

As soon as he admitted the offences in court, we progressed with special case proceedings which led to his dismissal on 17 August.

“The vast majority of our officers and staff do an outstanding job serving the public in line with the highest standards of professionalism and conduct, and we expect no less from them.

Those who fall short will face scrutiny.”

Manchester

Sentenced on 8th October, PC Farooq Ahmed walked into a police station with a confession note last December. 

In January this year, the 38-year-old was jailed for two years for the ‘disgusting abuse’.

He has now been formally dismissed from GMP, the force confirmed today in a statement, after a public misconduct hearing chaired by Chief Constable Stephen Watson was held yesterday (Thursday).

Ahmed was previously based in the force’s Tameside district, and is believed to have served in the area for around three years.

A court hearing held earlier this year heard how in November 2020, he handed himself in at GMP’s Central Park police station.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said he gave officers a note with a confession about sexually assaulting a child a few years earlier.

The victim was interviewed by specialist officers the following day – and detailed the abuse she suffered.

On one occasion Ahmed used a mobile phone to film himself sexually assaulting her, which he then deleted.

He was arrested, charged then convicted at Minshull Street Crown Court in December 2020.

He was jailed for two years for three counts of sexual assault of a child under 13, as well as one count of making an indecent image of a child.

He was also handed a five-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order and his name was added to the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

The offences occurred between 2016-2018.

After Ahmed’s dismissal from the force, Chief Constable Stephen Watson said he was ‘appalled’ by his crimes.

“I’m appalled by this disgusting abuse of a young girl and I am pleased that justice has been served which was a result of a robust and thorough criminal investigation undertaken by detectives from GMP’s Oldham CID”, he said.

“I expect our officers to uphold the highest standards of conduct with public safety being their main priority.

“Ahmed fell well below these standards when he committed these unforgivable offences and his actions do not represent what I expect of an officer of the Greater Manchester Police.”

Ahmed was suspended from his duties after being charged with the offences.

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