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Former Calgary police officer, Steve Huggett, speaks to reporters on Tuesday after his sentencing hearing for possession of child pornography. ((CBC))

A former Calgary police officer who admits to downloading child pornography said he did it as part of his own research to track down the perpetrators of the images.

Steven Huggett, 55, was in court Tuesday to hear sentencing arguments after pleading guilty to one count of possession of child pornography in February.

Huggett's lawyer, Mark Tyndale, said his client did not have pornographic videos and images on his computer for sexual gratification, but as part of his personal investigations to try to trace the source of the material and to rescue the child victims.

"It may have been misguided. It may have even been ill-advised, but at least well-motivated," said Tyndale.

The Crown called the explanation unbelievable and asked for a jail sentence of six to nine months. Tyndale suggested a sentence of 45 to 90 days in jail. A sentence is expected to be handed down in August.

"I just wanted to extend my regrets over this matter to the people of the community," Huggett told reporters after the hearing.

"I was earnestly trying to help these children. I realize in doing so, I've done some harm and I deeply regret that."

Officer retired from CPS after 25 years

Tyndale told the court that Huggett was frustrated by police bureaucracy, and downloaded sexually violent images of babies and teenagers as evidence.

Huggett's guilty plea covers a period of August 2007 — after he retired from the Calgary Police Service after 25 years — to January 2008, but investigators found evidence on his computer that showed he was burning CDs with explicit images as early as 2004, according to an agreed statement of facts.

'My life is, to my mind, not as important as these children and if it takes something like that to diminish the occurrence of this then I'm willing to make that sacrifice.'—Steve Huggett

"I felt like I was standing outside a building waiting for the fire department to turn up and nobody was running in to help them. I felt duty-bound to," said Huggett on Tuesday, calling child pornography "enraging" and "disturbing."

Huggett acknowledged the possibility of jail time would be particularly difficult for a former police officer.

"My life is, to my mind, not as important as these children and if it takes something like that to diminish the occurrence of this then I'm willing to make that sacrifice," he said.

"I just have to take my lumps."