A Preston police officer has been caught with “thousands of child abuse images” on his laptop and phone devices after his pregnant wife found them earlier this year.
Thomas Woods, 34, from New Longton in Preston has been spared jail after the court heard that his wife found over 2,000 images of child abuse on his phone. The images showed children in “considerable pain and suffering” according to the prosecutors.
Woods previously served as part of Greater Manchester Police but was suspended after his wife found the images in December. His wife suspected that Woods was cheating but was shocked to see so many images of children on his phone.
The case took place as Minshull Street Crown Court. According to prosecutors, Woods claimed the images were part of a criminal investigation.
Wood’s wife’s friend was concerned that she ‘was being lied to’ and after further enquiries with GMP, it was confirmed that the images were not part of an investigation.
Woods was arrested by police in December 2021 who carried out a thorough search of his home and concluded that over 370 images existed showing the most serious type of child abuse.
Woods admitted one count of possessing an indecent photograph or pseudo photograph of a child at a hearing in December.
At another hearing in July, Woods admitted three counts of making an indecent photograph/pseudo-photograph of a child, possessing a prohibited image of a child, and possessing an extreme pornographic image at another hearing in July.
Woods was handed a 16-month sentence, suspended for two years, and the judge ordered him to sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.
Woods was also handed a five-year sexual harm prevention order, ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work, and pay £340 costs.