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Disgraced Kent Police officer Thomas Blant downloaded indecent images of children from dark web

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A disgraced police officer has avoided going straight to jail after viewing sick child sex images - after his case took 22 months to get to court.

Pervert Thomas Blant - who has since been kicked off the force - not only viewed the pictures but then used software to "disguise and hide" the sites he had been trawling on the dark web.

Former PC Thomas Blant
Former PC Thomas Blant

Now father-of-two Blant, 38, a Kent Police constable for six years, has admitted two charges of downloading illegal images of children.

Judge Philip Statman told him: "You thought you would never be caught because of the protection you had installed on your computer. You have a predilection for young girls.

"You must understand your actions and your appearance in court has put your wife through hell. She is clearly a caring and loving mother."

He added that there would be many in the community who would now hold him in "contempt because of the ignominy attached to these crimes".

Blant, who admitted two sex charges, was given a 12-month jail sentence suspended for two years and attend 40 sessions to deal with his rehabilitation.

He was also given a five-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order and told to sign the Sex Offender's Register for 10 years.

After his arrest, Blant moved out of the family home in Wye near Ashford and has since lived in Southend, having only controlled visitation rights to see the children.

Officers from the National Crime Agency raided his home in January last year and quizzed Blant and his wife after it was revealed that the child image site had been accessed from the house.

Prosecutor Tim Probert-Wood said that Blant's wife - was able to prove she was elsewhere - and the police officer admitted it was him.

But a judge at Maidstone Crown Court heard how Blant had installed on his computer and mobile phone software which immediately deleted much of the evidence of the porn sites.

Judge Statman said he was concerned about the delay in bringing the case to court, which the Crown Prosecution Service believe was caused by delays in identifying and categorising the secret images of children aged between 10 and 12 years.

Mr Probert-Wood said that the police officer had installed "highly sophisticated" software designed to prevent people from knowing which sites had been accessed and which images had been downloaded and a web cleaner which covered his tracks.

But a forensic examination later revealed he had accessed 17 category A and C together with 19 other images which were regarded as borderline.

Kerry Waitt, defending, said after Blant's arrest he was thrown out of the force and later made an attempt to kill himself.

He added that none of the downloading was done while he was a on-duty and he had not used any of his police equipment to carry out his disgusting behaviour.

Blant has since undertaken courses from the Lucy Faithfull Foundation to tackle his perversions.

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