Kent

UK Border Agency officer Andrew Pratt jailed for child porn

Andrew Pratt
Image caption Pratt told police officers downloading the indecent images had become a "way of life"

A former UK Border Agency officer from Kent who admitted becoming addicted to images and films showing child sex abuse has been jailed for 30 months.

Andrew Pratt, 47, of Park Close, Hawkinge, had 6,606 videos of child abuse and more than 260,000 still images, Canterbury Crown Court heard.

When he was arrested last April, he told police: "It's almost a way of life. I hate it but I need it."

The court heard he also shared the material with others on websites.

A judge said the password-protected material built up by Pratt would fill any right-minded person with "revulsion".

'Broken man'

Prosecutor Simon Taylor said Pratt admitted that he derived sexual pleasure from the images but had not wanted to "damage" children.

The court heard Pratt, who had no previous convictions, had lost his job and his partner over the offences.

In mitigation, defence counsel Nick Jones described Pratt as a "broken man" and said he had admitted his offences to police and pleaded guilty at the earliest stage.

A UK Border Agency spokesman said: "We expect the highest levels of integrity and behaviour from our staff and this individual is no longer employed by the UK Border Agency."

Pratt admitted 17 counts of possessing indecent images of children with the intention of sharing them last December.

Judge Adele Williams jailed Pratt for 30 months on each count, to be served concurrently. He will serve half that sentence and then be placed under a supervision order.

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