Higham Ferrers paedophile police special "fuelled vile industry"

A disgraced police special who downloaded videos of child abuse helped fuel a vile industry, the NSPCC has said.

By Sam Wildman
Monday, 20th January 2020, 6:44 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 9:15 am
Ross Coleman was spared jail.
Ross Coleman was spared jail.

Ross Coleman, from Higham Ferrers, was spared jail earlier today after admitting viewing 80 sick videos and pictures, of which 45 were in the most depraved category. One involved a girl aged just four-years-old.

Coleman, 42 and of Wharf Road, was serving as a special sergeant for Northamptonshire Police's safer roads team at the time of his offending but he later resigned.

An NSPCC spokesman said: “As a special sergeant Coleman should have been relied upon to protect people and uphold the law.

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"Instead, by downloading child sex abuse images and videos, he was fuelling a vile industry that preys on some of the most vulnerable people in society.

“To stop people like Coleman having access to this disgusting content is a massive challenge which requires tech companies to use all the resources at their disposal to remove it from their platforms and quickly identify the people responsible for putting it there.”

Leicester Crown Court heard the dad-of-three started viewing the files as a form of escapism after he found himself in financial difficulties.

The unemployed former delivery driver, who now lives with his parents after being kicked out by his partner, admitted that he was ashamed by his actions and had been to see a GP to tackle his "addiction" to looking at child sex images on his Smart TV.

Sentencing him to one year in prison suspended for 18 months, judge Rhona Campbell said: "These are crimes with victims. If people like you did not sit in your house watching this material there would not be any need for any poor little girls to be taken from their homes and be sexually exploited.

"They are because there is a market for people like you to watch this stuff.

"They are someone's daughter...they are all lives that have been affected by this type of offending."

Coleman must take part in 120 hours of unpaid work and 35 days of rehabilitation activities. His internet use will also be restricted.

He will now face a police gross misconduct hearing.

Detective Constable Jason Cullum led the investigation. He said: “I am pleased this case has concluded and that justice has been done. It serves as a warning to anybody who thinks they can look at indecent images of children and go unnoticed.

“It is doesn’t matter who you are or what you do. You can expect a knock on your door from a police officer and from that moment onwards your whole life will be turned upside down. You are likely to lose your family, your home and your job, as Coleman did.

“More importantly, every indecent image of a child is an image of a victim. These are images of child abuse and perpetuate more offending against the most vulnerable in our society.

“This is why we have a team of experts dedicated to catching offenders and bringing them to justice.

“Anybody with information about people viewing and sharing indecent images of children should report it immediately by calling 101 or 999 in an emergency.”

- If you’re concerned about the wellbeing of a child, call the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000 or email [email protected]