Child porn police officer jailed

A POLICE officer involved in the Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells murder enquiry has been sentenced to six months in prison for possessing hundreds of indecent photos of children.

A POLICE officer involved in the Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells murder enquiry has been sentenced to six months in prison for possessing hundreds of indecent photos of children.

Anthony Goodridge, 34, from Ely, Cambridgeshire, had previously pleaded guilty to the charge in January and was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court today.

During the hearing defence barrister Maria Dineen condemned the media pressure that Goodridge and his family had been put under since his arrest in September last year.

She told Judge John Devaux: "Under any other series of events an incident of this nature would only attract local press interest. Other police officers have been arrested as part of the operation but none have been given this media attention. This was brought about by his role in the Soham incident. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Miss Dineen told the court how Goodridge had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and knew that he needed help. She said that he had showed incredible self-insight and remorse about his crime. There was never any suggestion that he had acted anything other than properly in his role as an exhibits officer in the Soham case.

She said how this problem had grown from e-mail communication that had rapidly grown into an addiction. He had become desensitised to the images of the children.

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She said: "His interest in the material became more extreme but it was always in private, always in his own time and in his own home."

There was no suggestion that Goodridge had ever sold any of the images on.

Prosecuting Andrew Campbell-Tiech told that Goodridge had 330 indecent photographs in his possession. They ranged from pictures of nude children to ones engaging in sexual activity with adults, some as young as four years old.

Mr Campbell-Tiech said Goodridge's explanation had been that he would retreat into his own private world made available by the internet. He used to use it as a means of escape from pressures of work and home, but Goodridge had been tracked down by a US police investigation.

Goodridge is married with two young children but he said he never would have abused them or any other child. However Mr Campbell-Tiech pointed out that every image was a recorded image of a child being abused.

In sentencing Judge John Devaux said that he had read psychiatric reports and letter of support from Goodridge's family and friends who were standing by him.

He said: "Your humiliation has been very public and there will have been considerable pressures on your family."

But he added that viewing the pictures was not a victimless crime and that in some of the images the child was obviously distressed and in Goodridge's own words "must have been going through hell."

Judge Devaux said there was no alternative but to give a custodial sentence.

Goodridge was sentenced to six months in prison, of which he will serve half and the balance will be held in suspense.

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