Manchester police officer sacked after pleading guilty to possessing indecent images of children
"He will stand perpetually unforgiven by officers and staff whose acts of decency will be tainted."
A former Greater Manchester Police (GMP) officer has been sacked after pleading guilty to making and possessing indecent images of children.
Thomas Woods was a serving police officer in GMP’s Salford district when he was arrested in December 2021 after the force received reports and information about potential indecent images, and attended his home address and seized two phones and a laptop.
Following extensive forensic examination, GMP says it recovered over 1,000 indecent images – many of which showed sexual acts involving children – over a 10-year period.
Woods initially made no comment in interview, but went on to plead guilty to the offences at court, and was later sentenced at Manchester Crown Court on 28 July 2022 for being in possession of indecent images of children, making indecent images, possessing prohibited Images of children, and possession of extreme pornographic images.
He was sentenced to 16 months in prison, suspended for 24 months, as well as being given a rehabilitation activity requirement, an unpaid work requirement, and a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for five years.
Woods was also told he must sign the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years, and was ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work.
Now, GMP has confirmed he has been formally sacked from the police force.
GMP said in a statement issued this week that Woods has been dismissed without notice by Chief Constable Stephen Watson at a misconduct hearing held at the Force Headquarters yesterday (14 February 2023).
Woods did not attend the hearing, but will also be placed on the College of Policing Barred List.
“It is a very powerful principle that officers should preserve public confidence and the seriousness of the misconduct found in terms of professional behaviour means he has been dismissed without notice,” CC Watson said of the decision to sack the former officer.
“Woods has committed very serious criminal offences. His acts were deliberate, unforced and unlawful, and also morally reprehensible. He brings the profession into disrepute and damages the confidence the public has in police officers.
“We have to maintain public confidence and this will, of course, diminish that due the level of seriousness.
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“Woods’ conduct could not be further removed from what a police officer should be.
“He is a sexual offender and completely forfeited the trust of the public. He will stand perpetually unforgiven by officers and staff whose acts of decency will be tainted.”
Featured Image – Flickr