Search

PCSO from Dagenham could face new child porn trial

PUBLISHED: 12:41 06 February 2009 | UPDATED: 11:18 11 August 2010

A POLICE community support officer accused of sharing child porn with a paedophile faces a possible retrial after the case collapsed last week. Daniel Cotham, 24, is said to have encouraged Thomas Hayes, 23, to email him photos of nude boys during a conv

A POLICE community support officer accused of sharing child porn with a paedophile faces a possible retrial after the case collapsed last week.

Daniel Cotham, 24, is said to have encouraged Thomas Hayes, 23, to email him photos of nude boys during a conversation between the duo in an internet chatroom.

Snaresbrook Crown Court heard Cotham, who has been suspended by the Metropolitan Police, claims he was trying to snare Hayes before turning him in.

Hayes was later prosecuted but Cotham admits he failed to report the pervert, the trial heard.

On Thursday, a jury acquitted Cotham of two charges of possessing child porn and two counts of downloading indecent photos of children on the direction of Judge Peter Birts QC.

The judge ruled that it was impossible for jurors to decide whether Cotham knew he was in possession of indecent images found on his laptop after it emerged just a single child porn photo was stored among hundreds of innocent snaps.

Another indecently titled image could not be retrieved from a corrupted memory stick belonging to the officer who serves Redbridge Police in Ilford.

'There is no case to go to a jury on these four counts,' Judge Birts said as he discharged the jury.

But prosecutors have been given one week to decide whether to pursue a fifth charge of encouraging Hayes to send him indecent photos.

Cotham, of Ripple Road, Dagenham, was cleared of two counts of possession of an indecent photograph of a child and two counts of making an indecent photograph of children.

He denies one charge of incitement to distribute indecent photographs of a child.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Barking and Dagenham Post. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Barking and Dagenham Post