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A Metropolitan Police counter-terrorism officer has been found guilty of trying to meet a 13-year-old girl for sex while on duty.
Francois Olwage, who works as a Detective Constable for the force’s specialist operations unit, has been found guilty of three child sex offences at Winchester Crown Court today.
The 52-year-old had been accused of ‘grooming’ what he believed was a teenage girl he had met online and was arrested by police at a McDonald’s in Basingstoke buying a McFlurry for her.
Officers found he was carrying condoms, erection pills, lubricant and a Ferrero Rocher ‘gift’ for the young girl, his trial heard.
The court heard Olwage had been ‘on duty working from home’ when he started talking to the ‘girl’, who actually turned out to be an undercover police officer.
Francois Olwage worked for the Metropolitan Police’s counter terrorism unit as a detective constable (file photo)
The undercover officer went by the username Smile Bear on the Lycos chat forum, and the pair moved to talking on WhatsApp, where the girl’s name was given as Caitlin.
The trial heard that after two weeks of explicit sexual conversations in October 2021, Olwage, of Stevenage, Hertfordshire, arranged to meet the ‘girl’, who had told him that she lived in Basingstoke, Hampshire.
He was subsequently arrested by police when he went to meet the ‘girl’ on October 28, a date when he was listed as ‘on duty working from home’.
When searched, the officers found in his bag two condoms, a bottle of lubricant and a packet of Tadalafil erectile disfunction tablets.
There was also a box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates which prosecutor Peter Shaw suggested was a present for the ‘girl’.
Mr Shaw previously said that Olwage had sent a message ahead of the meeting to the ‘girl’ stating: ‘Because of your age, things can go very wrong for us, I could be breaking the law, lose my job, social services be called.
‘I do not want any of that for us so we can’t meet tomorrow for anything sexual so it can only be about us meeting to chat and spending time together.’
Giving evidence to the trial, the undercover officer who posed as Smile Bear, who can only be identified as Max, said he had stated the girl was aged 13 and the defendant had replied: ‘Are you OK chatting with me, I could be your dad?’
Olwage was found guilty of three child sex offences after a trial at Winchester Crown Court (pictured)
Olwage told the court that he ‘never believed’ Smile Bear was a 13-year-old girl and that he thought it was an adult ‘playing out a fantasy’.
He also denied any sexual interest in children.
Olwage was convicted of attempted sexual communication with a child, attempting to cause/incite a girl aged 13 to engage in sexual activity, and attempting to meet a girl under the age of 16 following grooming.
He also pleaded guilty at the start of the trial to an offence of improperly exercising his police powers and privileges in order to receive the ‘benefit of sexual gratification’.
The judge ordered the jury to find him not guilty of arranging/facilitating the commission of a child sex offence.
Adjourning the case for sentencing, Judge Jane Miller QC told Olwage: ‘In view of the jury’s verdicts you fall to be sentenced and you will be remanded in custody until April 27 when sentence will take place.’
Source: Daily Mail