Policeman cleared of animal porn charges

A POLICE officer has been cleared of possessing extreme pornographic images.

Gareth Roscoe, aged 26, a police officer who was previously based in Farnworth, was accused of having two animal porn videos on his mobile phone.

A jury of seven women and five men at Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester, yesterday took just 25 minutes to unanimously find him not guilty of the charges.

PC Roscoe told the court that the images were sent to him by a colleague while he was doing temporary work at a TV licensing firm in Preston between April and August, 2006.

He said he found the images “offensive and disgusting”.

He said: “As I understand, my colleague asked me if I wanted some comedy videos sent via Bluetooth.

“He sent like 20 files, including the two videos. I can't 100 per cent say what happened — I was just thinking that's not my cup of tea, it's offensive, and I turned it off.

“I can't 100 per cent say I deleted it but I certainly didn't mean to save them.”

The images were found after officers raided his home for an unrelated matter, which was not pursued.

The court was told that the images had been transferred to the phone from another phone in January, 2007, along with more than 100 legal pornographic images and other videos.

The phone, which was found in a desk drawer, would not switch on until investigators had replaced the battery.

PC Roscoe said he moved the images in a bulk transfer from his computer from an old phone and did not realise the illegal images had been saved. He pleaded not guilty to two counts of possessing extreme pornographic images.

The jury heard PC Roscoe, who lives in Leyland, Preston, has been with his girlfriend, a trainee solicitor, for six years.

His father is a retired police officer and his younger sister a Police Community Support Officer.

The verdict comes more than a year after PC Roscoe was cleared of sexual assault and misconduct in a public office in October, 2011.

A woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claimed he touched her breast and tried to kiss her in an interview room at Bolton Police Station after her boyfriend was arrested for drink driving.

Speaking after the verdict, a spokesman for PC Roscoe said he was unable to comment due to an ongoing internal review by his employers, Greater Manchester Police.

The Police Federation, which supported PC Roscoe, also declined to comment.

A police spokesman said: “GMP's professional standards branch will now consider all matters relevant to this case and will determine whether or not any misconduct proceedings should be pursued.”

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