1. ITV Report

Former police officer jailed for child sex crimes after being caught in sting by his own colleagues

29-year-old Nick Pool Photo: Cumbria Police

A former police officer who was unmasked by his own colleagues in an undercover operation, has been jailed for committing a string of online child sex crimes.

Married father-of-one Nick Pool, from Penrith, Cumbria, was exposed as a paedophile during conversations in an internet chatroom with an undercover police officer who was pretending to be a 12-year-old girl.

He was sentenced to three-and-a-half years at Carlisle Crown Court on Friday.

Pool's off-duty offending - committed in the Penrith and Ulverston areas - prompted an investigation that unearthed further criminal conduct.

This included online "fantasies and role play" with others "purporting to be young girls".

Former PC Nick Pool has been jailed

Pool admitted six counts attempting to cause or incite a child to engage in sexual activity and three counts of attempting to incite.

In one conversation he gave his real age to the "girl" and ironically warned her "a lot of pedos in here be so careful" before suggesting they meet up to "teach you about sex".

He also pleaded guilty to charges of making and possessing indecent photographs of children - some classed in the most serious category A - and one of publishing an obscene article.

A serving officer based at Barrow police station at the time of the offences between 2013 and 2016, Pool was dismissed by Cumbria Constabulary in February without notice after he entered guilty pleas.

Nicholas Pool has brought shame upon himself and the Constabulary, and he has rightly been sentenced today for these serious crimes.

This case highlights that predators can be from any walk of life, and that no matter who you are or where you work, we will seek to ensure that you are brought to justice.

As well as being in possession of some horrific images, Nicholas Pool was conversing with young girls in a sexualised manner, demonstrating how important it is for parents to be aware of who their children are speaking to online.

Many young people will use the internet and social media, consequently there is a realistic danger that your child is speaking to someone online that they do not know. We will continue to work with partner agencies to promote awareness of internet safety and ensure that these offenders are brought to justice.

– Deputy Chief Constable Michelle Skeer

Pool must sign the sex offenders' register for life and was made subject to an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.

His lawyer said Pool's wife has filed for divorce and that his client had "destroyed" his life.