- PC Adam Holbrook had 16 indecent images of young girls on his laptop
- Other photos showed underage girls in school uniform or in bikinis
- Searches of the machine showed he had searched online for ‘teen jail bait’
A decorated policeman caught with thousands of pictures of young girls on his computer – some of them naked – was today spared jail.
Metropolitan Police Constable Adam Holbrook, who was based in Waltham Forest, was found with 3000 pictures of underage girls on his computer, of which 16 were of them posing naked or half naked.
Holbrook was arrested on August 7 last year following an investigation which found he had surfed sites which promoted themselves as sources of ‘jailbait’ images.
The 29-year-old had received a commendation award in 2007 for his work at a murder scene in East London where music producer Richie Holmes was shot dead.
Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard that a search of his laptop recovered the images, which included 16 classified as indecent.
Detective Constable James Low from the Met Police Paedophile Unit said the haul included girls aged between 13 and 16 posing semi-naked in the shower and a girl of about 14 embracing another girl while semi-naked on a bed.
They were deemed to be of level one, the lowest category of five.
‘It was based on what the girls look like, how formed they were and their faces in terms of determining how old they were,’ he told the court.
‘In my opinion 16 of these images were children.’
Of the rest of the photos, DC Low said: ‘They depicted more girls aged mainly 13 to 18 years old.
‘They were predominately schoolgirls, in school uniform at school, or bikinis at the beach. They were not indecent but they were in variety of settings and scenarios.’
During his evidence, Holbrook claimed that the images downloaded onto his machine without his knowledge while he was searching for legitimate pornographic material.
However, District Judge Nicholas Evans, dismissed this claim. He said there was no way that the officer did not know what he was doing.
‘Mr Holbrook has given evidence and I have said that I did not find it terribly convincing,’ said the judge.
‘[His claim that] “I am looking for 18 or 19 year olds which seek to pass themselves off as being younger”, is neither realistic or credible.
‘It is clear that if he is looking for, as he accepts he was, the underage look, he finds that interesting, simulating or whatever, and he is looking for that.
‘I don’t think he is looking for 18 or 19-year-olds that look younger, he would be likely to look at younger women.’
He added: ‘It does not matter where these images came from and when they were downloaded, it is sufficient in this case for the court to conclude that the defendant was browsing for such images of people under 16.
‘I am satisfied that he deliberately, knowingly brought these images onto his screen.’
The court heard that an analysis of Holbrook’s computer showed he was browsing a website with a name including the sick term ‘jail bait’, while his search history included terms such as ‘teen jail bait’.
During the trial, the court heard evidence from forensic computer expert DC Patrick Hyde. He said the site would be shut down under UK rules but continues running because it is based in the U.S.
Despite 36 complaints to the Internet Watch Foundation accusing the website of hosting inappropriate photos of children, Mr Hyde said it continued to operate because American legislation was different than that in the UK.
The court heard in a police interview, Holbrook submitted a statement which said he believed all the girls in the pictures were over 18.
Holbrook denied one count of making sixteen Level 1 indecent images of children.
He was ordered to pay a £640 fine, £450 in court costs and a victims surcharge of £15.
The officer was suspended from his duties with the Met, but after his conviction faces being sacked.