A police officer who was caught downloading the highest category images of child abuse is still in receipt of full pay — to the tune of £40,000 a year. Despite pleading guilty, PC Rupert Watkins remains employed by Scotland Yard after an internal misconduct hearing, due to take place in February, was suspended for another month.

Despite a media blackout on the case, a report in the Evening Standard has finally spilled the beans, revealing how the deviant PC was caught. Intelligence gathered by the National Crime Agency’s Child Protection Centre was passed to Scotland Yard’s Paedophile Unit after the married 45-year-old accessed monitored websites.

The Met officer from Bromley was caught with over 1,000 downloaded pornographic images on his phone, some of which included Category A images depicting penetrative sex with children. Arrested and suspended from duty last July, Watkins, who had viewed 45 Category A images — 23 Category B and 47 Category C — pleaded guilty at Westminster magistrates’ court in December to three counts of making indecent photos of a child.

Claiming he clicked on the child abuse websites when accessing adult porn — whilst drinking heavily and having become addicted to pornography — the disgraced PC told the Standard he did not know what he was doing. Sentenced to a two-year community order with a rehabilitation requirement, Watkins has been put on the sex offenders’ register and ordered to pay a mere £560 fine.

The disgraced officer remains employed by Scotland Yard after his misconduct hearing, which was due to take place on February 29, did not go ahead due to another case overrunning. The Met has said the hearing will be held on the next, earliest available date.

As such, until Watkins is officially sacked, the Met must continue to pay him. He continues to receive his 40 grand-a-year salary. What do you think?


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