Ex-Soham officer jailed for child porn

A FORMER police constable who worked on the investigation into the murders of schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman has been jailed for six months after admitting child pornography offences.

A FORMER police constable who worked on the investigation into the murders of schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman has been jailed for six months after admitting child pornography offences.

Anthony Goodridge, 34, of Ely, Cambridgeshire, admitted possessing more than 300 indecent images of girls as young as four.

Some of the images included film of adults having sex with children. Two contained film classed as "sadism or bestiality", Ipswich Crown Court heard yesterday.

Judge John Devaux was told that Goodridge, who is married with sons aged six and 14 months, had "heaped shame on himself, his family and the police."


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Goodridge, who worked for Cambridgeshire police for more than eight years, was an exhibits officer during the investigation into the murders of Holly and Jessica, both 10, last year.

He was dismissed from the force earlier this month.

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Andrew Campbell-Tiech, prosecuting, told the court that in 1999 police had begun an investigation into a US Internet firm called Landslide Productions.

The company provided access to pornographic images of children to credit card subscribers.

Goodridge's details were found in the company's record and he was one of "many thousands" of people arrested around the world.

Police raided his home in September last year and seized a computer and CD Roms.

They found still pornographic images of young girls, film clips and short films, said Mr Campbell-Tiech. "The titles left nothing to the imagination," he added.

Mr Campbell-Tiech said Goodridge had fully co-operated with police after his arrest.

"He told them that he would retreat into a private world," said Mr Campbell-Tiech.

"He used that private world as a means of escape from the pressure of his work and at times pressures of home.

"He said he loved his children deeply and said he would never abuse a child."

Maria Dineen mitigating, said: "Anthony Goodridge acknowledges that by his conduct he has heaped shame not simply upon himself but upon his family, his friends and Cambridgeshire Constabulary and for that he is truly remorseful.

"He is the first to admit that he has a problem and he is in desperate need of help."

Even though his wife and family shared in the "public humiliation" and found his crimes "despicable and inexplicable", they were standing by him, Ms Dineen added.

Judge Devaux said there was no alternative but to impose a custodial sentence. He said Goodridge would serve three months of the sentence with the remaining three months being suspended.

"Some of these images depict scenes in which the child victim is obviously distressed. You told a psychiatrist that some of the children must have gone through hell," he said.

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) expressed concern at the length of the sentence.

"Judges must hand out sentences which fit the crime and highlight to others the punishment they will face," said a spokesman

"They (judges) must remember that every child involved in pornography has been terribly abused by sex offenders. We are determined to make sure those offenders are brought to justice."

He added: "We are working closely with police forces throughout the country to clamp down on people who view and download child pornography.

"Arrests send out a strong message to those who think they can remain anonymous and escape the law by using the internet to access, trade in and, in some cases, make images of children."

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