Disgraced Higham Ferrers paedophile policeman to face misconduct hearing

He has since resigned from the force

Tuesday, 17th March 2020, 3:24 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th March 2020, 3:25 pm

A disgraced former police special from Higham Ferrers who was "addicted" to watching abuse videos involving children as young as four will face a gross misconduct hearing tomorrow (Wednesday).

Ross Coleman, who served as a special sergeant for Northamptonshire Police's safer roads team, was spared jail in January after admitting downloading 80 vile indecent images.

He has since resigned from his role but will still face a fast track gross misconduct hearing at the force's HQ tomorrow, chaired by chief constable Nick Adderley. The hearing is expected to take one day.

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Ross Coleman

The hearing will determine whether his conviction causes serious discredit to the force's reputation and damages public confidence in policing.

In January Leicester Crown Court heard Coleman was arrested at his family home in 2018

Police seized a number of items and the dad-of-three handed over his personal phone. On it were a number of thumbnail images representing videos he had been watching on his Smart TV.

Prosecutor Joey Kwong said an inspection of the device found 80 indecent images of children, of which 45 were the most severe (category A) with 20 category B files and 15 in category C. The files showed sexual abuse of girls as young as four-years-old and had been downloaded over a two-year period.

In mitigation Coleman's barrister Kim Lee said the offending was down to his financial difficulties, which he had been in since 2008.

He said: "Because of these financial problems he would seek escapism, unfortunately, by using various chat sites and viewing this material."

He said that Coleman was "really ashamed" and that he had let down his former Northamptonshire Police colleagues, adding that he was at a "very low ebb" having lost his home and his family.

He added said Coleman has since been to his GP to "fight his demons" and his "addiction" to child abuse images - and it was the steps he had taken to address his behaviour that the judge put down to "just" being convinced to suspend his prison sentence.

Coleman's one-year spell behind bars was suspended for 18 months and he must take part in 120 hours of unpaid work.

He was also ordered to take part in 35 days of rehabilitation activities and will be the subject of a sexual harm prevention order restricting his internet use.