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Former Met officers jailed for conspiracy to share child sexual images

|News, Sexual offences

Two retired Met police officers have been jailed for conspiracy to distribute and show child sexual abuse images. 

Jeremy Laxton, 62, and Jack Addis, 63 have been sentenced for distributing or showing indecent images of children to each other between January 2018 and July 2021.

Addis and Laxton worked together during their careers in the Met police and had become friends. 

As part of the same investigation, the CPS had also authorised charges of conspiracy to distribute or show indecent images of children, three counts of making indecent photos of a child, voyeurism and two counts of misconduct in public office against Chief Inspector Richard Watkinson, 49, who was then a serving officer with the Met’s West Area Command Unit. 

He was found deceased at his home on the day he was due to answer bail. Thames Valley Police is treating the death as unexplained but not suspicious and a file is being prepared for the coroner.

During the period of their offending, Addis and Laxton had access to, and shared, many indecent images of children. These included thousands of indecent pictures and videos that were shared on a hard drive uncovered at Watkinson’s mother’s address.

After pleading guilty to the alleged offences on 25 May 2023, they were both sentenced today (28 July 2023) at Southwark Crown Court. Laxton was jailed for five years and nine months, and Addis was sentenced to three years and nine months.

Christian Meikle, Senior District Crown Prosecutor, from the CPS said: “The offences Addis and Laxton committed are shocking, especially given their role as police officers who were expected to protect the most vulnerable members of society, and the public will feel betrayed by their actions.

"Following a thorough investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct, the case was referred to the CPS, who then prosecuted the case. When faced with the evidence of their crimes, they had little choice but to plead guilty.

"This case illustrates the determination of Investigators and the CPS to pursue child sexual offenders who have no place in society.

"The CPS are determined to help stop the devastating impact of these crimes on victims.”

Notes to editors

  • Jeremy Laxton [DOB 21/03/1960].
  • Jack Addis [DOB 05/11/1959].
  • Christian Meikle is a Senior District Crown Prosecutor in the CPS Complex Casework Unit.

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