A former Kent police officer has been sentenced for downloading and viewing child abuse material.
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Thomas Blant, who served as a constable for Kent Police, was arrested in January last year on suspicion of being a visitor to a website that hosted child sexual abuse content.
Investigators suspected that the website, available on the dark web, had been accessed from Blant’s property in Wye, Ashford, Kent.
The 38-year-old’s home was searched and a number of devices were seized, including a mobile phone and laptop.
Blant was released on bail and suspended from the police at the time of his initial arrest, pending the results of a forensic analysis of the devices.
Law enforcement found 17 incident images, including a number in the highest severity grade, category A.
A further four images were uncovered in old mobile devices belonging to the ex-officer.
According to the UK National Crime Agency (NCA), Blant had made “attempts” to delete the material but failed.
He was arrested a second time in February 2020, and on July 22, 2021, Blant pleaded guilty to two criminal counts of making indecent images of children (IIOC) at Folkestone Magistrates Court.
On October 6, at Maidstone Crown Court, Blant was issued with a 12-month prison term, suspended for two years, a five-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO), and has been placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years.
The former constable has since been dismissed from Kent Police.
“It is abhorrent that Blant has committed these offenses, particularly while working as a police officer,” commented Detective Chief Superintendent Jon Armory. “His actions helped fuel the demand for children to be exploited which is a complete betrayal of his duty to protect the vulnerable. The vast majority of our officers and staff do an outstanding job serving the public in line with the highest standards of professionalism and conduct, and we expect no less from them.”
In recent news, the UK’s Metropolitan Police are investigating claims made by Patsy Stevenson, who was arrested while attending a vigil for Sarah Everard. The campaigner says that following the arrest, she received roughly 50 ‘likes’ on Tinder by security guards and police officers in what she describes as an effort to ‘intimidate’ her, leaving her “terrified.”
The vigil was taking place in Clapham Common, in memory of Sarah Everard, who was abducted and murdered by Met Police officer Wayne Couzens. The police deemed the event illegal under lockdown restrictions at the time.
Couzens has since been issued a whole-life sentence.
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