A police officer who shared ‘appalling’ indecent images of children with fellow paedophiles in an ‘abhorrent’ chat group has been jailed.
George Ince, 26, engaged in ‘full and graphic’ discussions about having sex with underage girls on the Kik messenger app.
They included the idea of raping a 14-year-old girl, tying up a 12-year-old, and blackmailing youngsters into sending nude images of themselves, Norwich Crown Court heard.
Ince also passed on indecent photos, including one he doctored by superimposing the face of a 17-year-old girl he knew from a Facebook photo onto another picture of a topless female.
He was arrested at his home in Stalham, Norfolk, in July last year after fellow officers received intelligence illegal images had been uploaded from a Kik account linked to him.
A search of his devices revealed 71 indecent images and 22 videos featuring girls aged between six and 17.
Danielle O’Donovan, prosecuting, said: ‘This is a man who, at the time, was a serving police officer with exceptional levels of power over the rest of the population.’
Ince, who was based in Great Yarmouth, admitted three counts of making indecent photographs of a child, three counts of distributing indecent images and possessing an extreme pornographic image.
He denied a further count of attempting to cause or incite the sexual exploitation of a child, and the charge was dropped by prosecutors.
The offences all occurred between April 2019 and July last year.
The court heard he was thrown out of Norfolk Constabulary over the ‘despicable’ offences in a misconduct hearing which lasted less than 10 minutes.
Defending, Andrew Oliver said Ince had been suffering from poor mental health at the time of the offences.
He added: ‘He is described as being under a great deal of stress, particularly at work, having dealt with highly traumatic incidents which had a negative impact on his wellbeing.
‘Mr Ince has fully admitted that what he was doing was wrong and criminal. He knows he has behaved appallingly.
‘He said that his chats were stories that he made up and were fictitious and fantasy. He has expressed remorse for his behaviour and feels devastated about what he has done.’
Jailing him for 16 months, Judge Anthony Bate told Ince the images he shared were ‘abhorrent’ and of ‘the gravest kind’
After the hearing, Norfolk Chief Constable Paul Sanford said: ‘The viewing and sharing of indecent images is an abhorrent crime, which fuels the exploitation and suffering of vulnerable children.
‘What makes this case even more deplorable is that when these offences were committed, Ince was a serving police officer, the very person who should been working to prevent this type of offending and safeguarding children.
‘We know the police service is rightly under intense scrutiny at the moment.
‘When a police officer is convicted and sentenced for offences, it discredits the service and betrays that vital bond of trust with the public. I completely understand the concerns people have.
‘I share that concern because Ince’s behaviour does not represent the high professional standards that officers of all ranks across the county pride themselves in while carrying out their duties, day in day out.
‘Criminals will operate in all walks of life, but our resolve remains the same regardless of your profession. If you’re committing these offences, we will bring you to justice.’