A paedophile policeman who led a double life has been spared jail after coming face-to-face with those he has put behind bars.

Dominick Akinlade, 37, was curious about pre-pubescent youngsters following years of porn use and searched for images online of both boys and girls, Southwark Crown Court heard.

His curiosity turned into an addiction and he began viewing images that were ‘clearly illegal’ according to prosecutor James Murray-Smith.

In Akinlade’s defence, Ian Joblin said the case had a very dramatic effect on him and his time in Wandsworth prison had been traumatic.

Akinlade, dressed in a pale blue long-sleeved top and wearing glasses, admitted five counts of making indecent images of children at a previous hearing.

He was found to be in possession of a number of indecent images of children on his home computer which he had downloaded from the internet - an offence which constitutes ‘making’ images under the Protection of Children Act.

Mr Joblin said: “He has lost his career- that is completely gone.

“It is to his credit he resigned effectively immediately.

“He suffers tremendous remorse.”

The court heard Akinlade, of Fairmile Avenue, Streatham, was picked up by officers from the Metropolitan Police’s paedophile unit at his home on October 1 last year.

Four computer hard drives, which Akinlade declared at the time were ‘full of child porn’ were among the items seized.

Prosecuting, Mr Murray-Smith said: “He was extremely frank.

“At the time he was 36 years old - he said since the age of 15 or 16 he had access to adult heterosexual pornography on the internet.

“He said he stumbled across stuff that was clearly illegal of young girls.

“He said he was looking for images of girls and boys going through puberty or shortly after puberty engaged in sexual acts.

“He got rid of it if it showed children in great distress.”

Defending, Mr Joblin said the defendant had tried to take his own life on a number of occasions and it was for his own safety that he was kept behind bars until the sentencing on Monday, May 19.

But it was while being held in Wandsworth prison that Akinlade found himself behind bars with criminals he had been responsible for locking up.

Mr Joblin said: “He has seen a fair number of people that he has been responsible for putting there.

“Three and a half months in custody for a former police officer is traumatic.”

Mr Joblin added his life as a police officer in Merton and his interest in inappropriate material meant he had a double life and although these were in conflict there was no evidence it interfered with his work as a police officer.

Addressing Akinlade in the dock, Judge Anthony Leonard said: “On your arrest you made a full and frank admission to the fact that you had been looking at child pornography for many years.

“I have taken into account you have lost your job as a police officer and this was separate from it.

“I take into account your remorse and that you have been in custody for three and a half months.

“What you have done is repugnant and wrong.”

The judge handed Akinlade a six month jail sentence but opted to suspend it for two years.

He was ordered to pay £600 costs and will be subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for five years.

The Judge ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the computer seized by police.