Thomas Woods, from New Longton, was spared jail despite downloading thousands of child abuse images over 10 years.
A police officer from Lancashire who was spared jail after being caught with thousand of child abuse images will face a misconduct hearing next week.
PC Thomas Woods looks almost certain to be sacked by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) when his case goes before a misconduct panel on February 14. Woods, of Brookdale, New Longton, was given a suspended sentence in October last year despite being caught with a sickening collection of more than 2,000 indecent images of children, accrued over a decade-long period.
Among the evil collection was a video of a girl believed to be just four-years-old being raped. Minshull Street Crown Court heard that “discernible pain and suffering by children” was an aggravating feature of the case. In total, Woods two phones’ contained there were 2,567 indecent images. 678 of these were in the most serious category.
The sickening haul was uncovered when Woods’ pregnant wife looked at his phone suspecting he was having an affair. The woman, also a police officer, asked advice from a friend after her husband claimed the images were being used as part of an investigation, to ‘lure’ predators in.
The friend was sceptical and reported Woods to the police and he was arrested after GMP’s Sexual Offences Unit confirmed no such investigation was taking place. The images had been downloaded over the course of a decade, starting before he was became a police officer. GMP said after Woods, who had been working in the Salford area, pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images, possessing a prohibited image of a child, and possessing extreme pornography. He was given a 16 month sentence suspended for two years and ordered to complete 180 hours of unpaid work and attend 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days. He was also made subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for five years and will have to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years.
Sentencing, Recorder Anthony O’Donohoe told Woods: “You will inevitably lose your employment as a police officer and, in fact, you will leave the police service in disgrace.”
The misconduct process could only be completed after criminal proceedings and at the time, GMP said Woods would be dealt with “in due course”.
An accelerated misconduct hearing is scheduled to take place on February 14. A notice of the hearing states that PC Woods ‘will answer allegations that his conduct amounts to a breach of the Standards of Professional Behaviour for Discreditable Conduct contrary to the Police (Conduct) Regulations 2020’.