A police officer caught in possession of indecent images of children has escaped an immediate prison sentence.
Pc Paul Sharp, from the North Tyneside area, admitted charges relating to downloading indecent images.
He was charged with two counts of making indecent images of children and one count of possession of extreme pornography after police received a tip-off.
Pc Sharp appeared at North Tyneside Magistrates Court on Wednesday, January 18, where he pleaded guilty to all three charges.
And at the same court on Thursday he was sentenced to a total 36 weeks imprisonment suspended for 12 months.
He was also ordered to attend a rehabilitation course and made to pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £115.
The police constable, who worked in Northern Area Command, has been suspended from duty since the start of the investigation. A misconduct hearing will be held upon the conclusion of the court proceedings.
Detective Superintendent Janice Hutton said: “We completely condemn the actions of Pc Paul Sharp and have started fast track misconduct proceedings against him. We expect the highest standard of all of our officers.
“Those who download indecent images show no regards for those victims of sexual abuse who are the subjects of images such as those downloaded by Paul Sharp.
“This is not a victimless crime and we will continue to do all we can to put offenders before the court regardless of who those offenders are.”
These charges of making indecent images refer to the downloading of indecent material. There is no evidence that Pc Paul Sharp was involved in the production of these images.
Detective Superintendent Hutton added: “We have carried out a full and extensive investigation. There is nothing to suggest that any offences have been committed whilst the officer was on duty or through the use of police equipment.”
Anyone who suspects anyone of possessing indecent images should not hesitate to contact police by calling 101, or 999 in an emergency.