A RETIRED police officer who downloaded twisted pictures and videos of children as young as two being abused and tortured has avoided prison.
Iain Mackay, 63, who served with West Midlands Police in Birmingham until retiring in 1994, downloaded over 14,000 indecent images between 2004 and March last year.
Birmingham Crown Court heard over 1,000 of those images were in the worst category showing the rape and sadomasochistic torture of children.
They were discovered by officers from the National Crime Agency (NCA) in a raid on Mackay’s Astwood Bank flat in Redditch where he lived with his wife.
The hard drives storing the sick images were also used to store Mackay’s family photos.
He pleaded guilty to seven counts of creating indecent images of children.
But the retired police officer and charity worker avoided prison after it was heard of his previous public service, personal problems and steps he had taken to address his offending since his arrest.
He was handed an 18 month prison sentence suspended for two years with two years supervision.
A costs order of £800 was made and Mackay was ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years.
Judge Patrick Thomas QC told him; “What you have done since, embarking on courses and deriving understanding of the gravity of what you have done is sufficient to justify suspension, particularly in light of a long life of public service.
“But it’s a pretty marginal decision and one I have reached with some difficulty.”
The court heard NCA officers went to Mackay’s flat on March 19 last year after receiving information a computer at the address was downloading indecent images.
They seized nine hard drives containing a total of 14,771 pictures and videos.
Of those, 1,264 were ranked in the worst category A, 958 were ranked as category B while 12,549 were ranked in category C.
Raj Punia, prosecuting, said Mackay admitted the offences as soon as he was arrested.
Richard Hull, defending, said Mackay had shown insight into his offending and had taken steps to address his behaviour.
He said: “He has a supportive family and they continue to support him, perhaps in no small part because of his insight, admissions and acceptance.”