A FORMER Metropolitan Police officer was caught with films of child rape and bondage which he had downloaded from the internet.

Andrew Parfitt, who served for 31 years in the Met, sought out child abuse images using search terms including Lesbian Lolitas and used virtual private networks and incognito browsers to conceal his activities.

He is a former junior football coach and scout leader who had been cleared by the Declaration and Barring Service on three occasions and had worked as a bus driver after retiring from the police and moving to Devon.

The most extreme material found by the police showed a child who was being raped while bound and gagged and appeared in obvious distress, Exeter Crown Court was told.

He had 111 images or movies which fell into the worst category, effectively showing child rape, 69 at lower categories, 704 cartoons of child abuse and 11 items showing adults having sex with dogs or horses.

Parfitt, aged 63, of Pepperill Place, Bampton, admitted three counts of making, by downloading, indecent images of children and two of possessing prohibited or extreme images.

He was jailed for 18 months, suspended for two years and ordered to do 210 hours of unpaid community work and 30 days of rehabilitation activities and to pay £340 costs by Judge David Evans.

He told him: “There are aggravating factors. There were images that depicted children subjected to restraint and in pain.

“Your collection included moving images and a large number of different victims were depicted.

“This went on for a considerable period of time. Every time you went online and searched out and viewed or downloaded indecent imagery you were engaging in criminal activity.

“There is mitigation in that you are genuinely remorseful and show considerable insight into the appalling harm entailed in the creation of these images.

“You have no convictions and have a positive good character that includes 31 years’ service in the Metropolitan Police.”

Mr Thomas Faulkner, prosecuting, said in 2020 Parfitt was traced by his IP and e-mail addresses and his mobile telephone number and a number of devices were seized, some of which were found in the airing cupboard of the home he shared with his wife.

A forensic examination showed he had been downloading or viewing images since 2017 and used search terms including “young lesbian teens”.

He admitted downloading the images in an interview but denied a sexual interest in children.

He said he found some images by accident while using an adult site and carried on out of curiosity. He said his main interest was lesbianism and young people with “perfect bodies”.

Mr Peter Seigne, defending, said Parfitt has already taken steps to address his behaviour by paying privately to go on a course run by the Lucy Faithfull Foundation.

He said Parfitt was a man of exemplary character who had excellent references from his time as a police officer. He is now helping his wife look after his 91-year-old mother-in-law in Cumbria.