A former student police officer has been jailed for four years after he sent sexual messages and explicit images of himself to a nine-year-old girl.
Hicks had persuaded the victim to send him intimate photos and had tried to do the same with four other children.
Jason Hicks, 31, was sentenced at Exeter Crown Court today after pleaded guilty to a total of 13 charges.
Hicks was arrested and suspended before being dismissed without notice whilst he was in training to be a Devon and Cornwall Police officer.
Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Steve Parker said: “We note and welcome the sentencing of Jason Hicks today for what are despicable offences.
“I would like to commend the bravery of the young victim in this case and her family in coming forward and reporting these appalling crimes.
“We remain committed to bringing perpetrators of such offences to justice and those responsible will always be investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
“All police officers, including those in training, have a privileged role in being part of a Force responsible for the safeguarding of vulnerable people. The actions of Jason Hicks were wholly wrong and illegal and he now faces the consequences of that.
“Our Paedophile Online Investigation Team and Professional Standards Department acted swiftly as soon as these offences were brought to our attention and Hicks was immediately arrested and suspended. Accelerated misconduct proceedings meant he was dismissed soon after.
“Devon and Cornwall Police takes any reports of illegal or inappropriate conduct extremely seriously.
“All officers and staff are expected to abide by the Code of Ethics and ensure the highest standards of behaviour, both on and off duty.
“I can reassure the public that the overwhelming majority of our officers and staff work diligently to help to keep the public safe, uphold our high standards and provide an exceptional service to our communities.
“We will always take the appropriate action when standards fall below those expected and continue to learn from any instances where they do.”
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