A FORMER police officer and Hinchingbrooke control room supervisor who downloaded child pornography on his computer has walked free from court. Martin Jenkins, 54, who was an acting sergeant with Cambridgeshire Police, was fined £2,600 after admitting one

A FORMER police officer and Hinchingbrooke control room supervisor who downloaded child pornography on his computer has walked free from court.

Martin Jenkins, 54, who was an acting sergeant with Cambridgeshire Police, was fined £2,600 after admitting one offence of possessing indecent pictures of children and 12 offences of making indecent images of children.

Police officers who seized Jenkins's computer discovered he had been actively searching for indecent pictures of children between December 2003 and his arrest in November 2004, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Robert Sadd, prosecuting, said Jenkins had typed phrases such as "pre-teen models" into search engines, which made it quite clear what he was looking for.

Mr Sadd said of 3,000 images on Jenkins computer, 23 were indecent images of children. He said that on a scale of one to five, with five being the most serious images, 17 were at level one, two were at level two, three were at level three and one was at level four.

"Of the child images, the huge majority were not criminal," he added.

In addition to fining Jenkins £200 for each offence, Judge John Holt ordered him to sign on the sex offenders' register for five years.

Simon Spence, for Jenkins, said his client, who now lives with his wife in Brittany in France, had no previous convictions and had been a serving police officer with Cambridgeshire Police.

He urged the court to accept the offences admitted by Jenkins did not cross the custody threshold.

Following the case, a spokeswoman for Cambridgeshire Police said: "We can confirm that Martin Jenkins is a former Cambridgeshire Police officer.

"He retired as an acting sergeant before these matters came to light, and was a civilian supervisor in the force control room at the time of his arrest by Suffolk police. He was suspended and later resigned."

Also after the hearing, prosecutor Mr Sadd said: "This case shows that a person's position, even within the police force, will not protect them from prosecution.