Police sergeant faces jail over child porn

North Yorkshire Police officer Andrew Nicholson of Nafferton accused of possesion of indecent images and one charge of distribution of an indecent image.
North Yorkshire Police officer Andrew Nicholson of Nafferton accused of possesion of indecent images and one charge of distribution of an indecent image.

A shamed Scarborough police sergeant has been told by a judge he could be jailed after admitting possession and distribution of child pornography.

Married North Yorkshire officer Andrew Duncan Nicholson, 42, showed no signs of remorse as he walked free from court after pleading guilty to possession and distribution of indecent images.

Nicholson, who worked as a police sergeant in Scarborough, was stone-faced as he pleaded guilty to two charges as they were put to him in the dock of court one at Hull Crown Court on Tuesday.

He pleaded guilty to one offence of distributing an indecent image of a child.

He denied one offence of making nine indecent photographs of children found on his laptop at his home in Nafferton.

He pleaded guilty to possession of three indecent images found on his i-Phone on March 4 2014.

Crown barrister Stephen Robinson said: “The defendant has pleaded guilty to count one the most serious charge of distribution by making a password available to an undercover police officer who he was having a conversation with.”

Nicholson was arrested in an undercover police operation targeting users of the Gigatribe private two-way file sharing site.

After striking up an on-line chat, the undercover officer asked if Nicholson was prepared to send him indecent material. Rather than email an image, the stepfather-of-two allowed the bogus paedophile the use of a password. The password unlocked access to a Category C indecent image of a child on the Gigatribe site.

Although the distribution offence was committed in July 2013 it was not until March 2014 that his home was raided and laptop computer and mobile telephone seized and later analysed for indecent images.

Nicholson left all the explanation for his offending to his barrister Paul Fleming who did not once mention his public role as a police sergeant in Scarborough.

Mr Fleming told the judge “He has resigned from his employment which is dealt with in the papers.

“his is a case where the images are of Category three, there are four in total, and only one where there was distribution back in 2013.

Judge Jeremy Richardson, QC, said he was happy more work had been done on the indictment before it could be put to Mr Nicholson.

He said: “I expect all sentencing options are open including custody. I will release you on bail but on the understanding you co-operate with the probation service in the preparation of the report.”

Nicholson has had to sign on the National Sex Offenders’ Register.

He will be sentenced at Hull Crown Court on December 14.

The case was investigated by Humberside Police. Speaking outside court Detective Constable Chris Kipling from the Internet Sex Offender Team said: “We investigate all sexual offences of this nature and take them very seriously. Behind every indecent image of a child is a victim and whilst this sort of activity continues, more children will be abused.”