Norton Rose man convicted for child porn

Norton Rose’s former head of operations Mike Walker has been convicted on charges of downloading child pornography on his work computer.

Walker, who left the firm in January 2002, was charged by the police after an individual within Norton Rose contacted BBC’s Crime Stoppers following the first firmwide monitoring exercise in November 2001.

A Norton Rose spokesperson said the firm wanted to be satisfied that Walker was responsible for downloading the pornographic material found on his computer. “It was absolutely certain that Norton Rose would contact the police, but the firm owed a duty of care to its employee,” said the spokesperson.

Walker was immediately suspended and the firm initiated disciplinary proceedings while his computer was sent for forensic examination. After receiving the forensic report and the conclusion of the internal investigation, Norton Rose dismissed Walker.

London managing partner Deirdre Walker said: “We identified it, we caught him, we summarily dismissed him and assisted the police throughout.”

Norton Rose said in a prepared statement to The Lawyer: “The firm constantly updates its monitoring and security systems. Like other large commercial organisations, it is necessary to deal with new sites opening daily, which are often designed to avoid detection. In Walker’s case, the firm’s monitoring system enabled it to identify his internet abuse and take immediate action to stop it.”

Walker was convicted by Southwark Crown Court on 24 March and given a two-year conditional discharge.