A FORMER Metropolitan Police officer has avoided jail after pleading guilty to three counts of possessing indecent images of children.
Darren Hourigan, 51, was sentenced to 10 months' imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, at Kingston Crown Court on Friday.
Hourigan was a serving officer attached to the South Area Command Unit when he was arrested following an investigation by the Met's Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse team in March 2020.
"We have made it clear that the Met will take action against any of its staff who are not fit to remain within the organisation," said Chief Superintendent Andy Brittain.
"We are committed to providing Londoners with a Met that they deserve; one that upholds the law on the streets of the capital and amongst its own ranks.
"The vast majority of the thousands of police officers and staff are striving to take this forward — those who won't are not worthy to remain."
Following Hourigan's arrest, he was charged on September 21, 2022 and appeared at Kingston Crown Court two months later, where he was bailed ahead of a plea and trial preparation hearing.
On Wednesday, April 26, Hourigan appeared at the same court, where he pleaded guilty to three counts of possession of indecent images of children.
He resigned from the Met the same day.
An accelerated misconduct hearing on June 12 ruled that Hourigan would have been dismissed without notice had he still been serving.
He has now been added to the Barred List held by the College of Policing.
Hourigan cannot be employed by police, local policing bodies (PCCs), the Independent Office for Police Conduct or HM’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services.