Northern Ireland news

Police officer faces trial charged with making and possessing indecent images of children

A police officer is to stand trial on a series of charges, including making and possessing indecent images of children.

Appearing for a committal hearing at Craigavon Magistrates Court yesterday was Robert Jason Ainscough (33) whose address was given as PSNI Lurgan.

He faces two sets of charges, one of which involves 13 counts of misconduct in public office and the other, multiple allegations related to indecent images of children.

In the first set of charges he is accused of 17 counts of both making and possessing indecent images of children on various dates between January 6, 2015 and August 20, 2016.

The second case relates to 13 counts of misconduct in which it is alleged Ainscough, as a PSNI constable, wilfully abused his position on various dates between January 7, 2015 and June 29, 2016.

These matters allege different methods of misconduct of which two counts relate to accessing the personal details of a person on police computer systems.

There are also counts of accessing and sharing a confidential incident log and details on a named individual.

However the bulk of charges in this set of offences involves Ainscough allegedly exchanging sexually explicit messages with three persons, whilst on duty.

A prosecution lawyer told the court there is a case to answer in respect of both sets of charges.

Ainscough chose not to call witnesses or give evidence on his own behalf at this stage in proceedings.

He was remanded on £500 bail with conditions including surrender of his passport, a ban on leaving Northern Ireland and twice weekly signing with police.

In addition he must not be in possession of any device capable of accessing the internet nor have any access to the internet whatsoever, including mobile phones or a sim card or an electronic device.

The case will next appear at Craigavon Crown Court in December.

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