PM's ex-aide to be sentenced for making indecent child photos


A former aide to Prime Minister David Cameron will be sentenced today after downloading indecent pictures of scantily-clad girls as young as 10 in sexual poses.

Patrick Rock, 65, had faced 20 charges of making an indecent photograph of a child, but argued the 20 images he downloaded on to his iPad over three days in August 2013 were not indecent.

A jury at Southwark Crown Court in London deliberated for more than eight hours on Tuesday and Wednesday before convicting him of five counts and acquitting him of three others. Jurors were discharged after being unable to agree on the 12 other counts, which will lie on file.

The court heard that the youngest of the girls in the pictures was just 10 when he downloaded it - meaning she would have been younger when it was taken.

While none of the girls were naked, prosecutors claimed they were in "sexualised" poses in skimpy clothing, including swimwear and bras.

The court heard Rock downloaded the images at a golf club while on a trip to visit family in the US.

But police in the US did not prosecute Rock because they had found there was no "child pornography", his lawyer Sasha Wass QC said.

She added that Rock, of Fulham, south-west London, had been in America after his mother had died in order to handle her affairs.

Rock's sister, in a statement read to the court, said at the time of the offences he had been "sad, angry and holding on to the fact he had not been with Mum when she died".

Adjourning until Thursday for sentencing, Judge Alistair McCreath said on Wednesday: "This is a man who is convicted of the downloading of, in relative terms, a small number of images who has an unblemished history."