Met police officer avoids jail ‘because of his background’ after being caught with ‘seriously disturbing’ child porn

Extended sentence for rapist Jordan Hubbock
Extended sentence for rapist Jordan Hubbock

A Met police detective was caught with nearly 2,500 indecent images and movies of children, including one in which an 18 month old child was being raped.

Former DC Simon Lawes, 57, told colleagues from Hertfordshire who raided his home in Berkhamsted that he had only viewed child pornography in the course of his work.

Prosecutor Peter Shaw told St Albans Crown Court today that officers launched an investigation after Lawes’ former partner asked her new boyfriend to check a bag Lawes had left at her home in Hemel Hempstead, which she thought contained DVDs.

The man was perturbed when he found indecent images of children and the police were called.

Officers carried out a dawn raid the former soldier’s home in October last year and when asked if he had viewed indecent images of children, he replied: “Yes during my work.”

But his computers, including one that had previously belonged to the City of London police, were examined. 348 movies were found – 228 were at Category A, the most serious level, 101 at Category B and 19 at Category C, the least serious level.

There were 2,134 indecent images of children. 912 at Category A, 605 at B and 617 at C. There were also 212 extreme images involving human sexual activity with horses, dog and pigs.

Most of the abuse images involved girls aged around 10, but in one an 18 month of baby was being raped.

Lawes pleaded guilty to 12 charges of making (downloading) indecent photographs of children, two of possessing indecent images and one of possessing extreme pornography. He had no previous convictions.

Robert Fitt, defending, said Lawes was of positive good character. He had served in the British Army for nine years until 1985, being posted in Northern Ireland where he had a “bad time.”

He said he was seeking advice for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and had been “self-medicating with alcohol” since 1978. “He is a functioning alcoholic,” said Mr Fitt. Lawes joined the Met in 1991 after a number of other jobs and left in December last year.

Judge Michael Baker QC told him: “Quite clearly these are seriously disturbing images and in the course of making them the lives of a number of children will have been significantly affected.”

The judge said he had thought hard about sending him immediately to prison but said he could suspend the sentence because of Lawes’ background.

He passed a 12-month jail sentence suspended for two years, with 18 months’ supervision by probation officers. He must attend an alcohol treatment programme and abide by a nine-week curfew between 7pm ad 5am.

Lawes must abide by the terms of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order and sign the sex offender register for 10 years. His computers and storage devices were forfeited and he must pay £500 costs and £100 victim surcharge.