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Police officer admits sexually grooming 12-year-old girl

Coventry-based serjeant arrested following undercover operation

Lizzie Dearden
Home Affairs Correspondent
Friday 23 August 2019 23:11 BST
West Midlands Police headquarters in Birmingham
West Midlands Police headquarters in Birmingham (West Midland Police)

A police sergeant who sent an explicit photograph of himself to an undercover officer posing online as a 12-year-old girl has admitted grooming offences.

Stephen Shaw, of West Midlands Police, contacted the fake profile of a child& on social media – not realising that he was talking to a colleague in the same force.

After telling the girl she could “pass for 15”, the 46-year-old officer made numerous comments about sexual acts and sent her a picture of his penis.

He was arrested on Thursday and charged with attempting to cause or incite a female child under 13 to engage in sexual activity on 12 August and attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child between 18 and 22 August.

Shaw, who is based in Coventry, pleaded guilty to both offences when he appeared at Birmingham Magistrates Court on Friday.

Following the pleas, prosecutor David Devine told the court: “Mr Shaw is currently a police officer and has been for a number of years.”

Shaw’s solicitor Sue Swan applied for him to be granted bail until sentencing at Crown Court.

“He is a man, until today, of exemplary good character,” said Ms Swan. ”I have spoken to his wife. She is very upset, as you can imagine, but she says ‘I absolutely 100% support him’. She says this is not him.

“He is keen to have bail, not so much for himself but for his wife. This has happened so quickly they have not had a chance to sort out their affairs before a likely prison sentence.”

Magistrates granted Shaw bail until sentencing and made an order under the Contempt of Court Act banning publication of the officer’s home address.

Shaw, who must abide by an electronically-monitored curfew and live at an address outside the West Midlands, was ordered to return to court on 20 September.

West Midlands Police said it had made a mandatory referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

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