Former police officer sentenced for stalking and harassing female officers

16/12/2015

A former Greater Manchester Police Officer has been sentenced for stalking and harassing female officers.

James White, 31, was sentenced at Halton Magistrates Court in Cheshire for two counts of stalking, one of harassment , one of sending a communication conveying an offensive or indecent message and for failing to tell the investigating team the password to his mobile phone.

White, who worked in Bolton Division, has been given a 26 week jail term, suspended for 24 months, given a supervision requirement, is required to do 200 hours unpaid community work, ordered to pay £1000 costs and given a restraining order, prohibiting him from making contact with the complainants for 2 years.

The court heard that White had been sending sexually inappropriate messages to female officers via fake Facebook Accounts he set up in the names of serving male officers. White used his mobile phone to access the fake accounts. Several of the women reported the messages to their managers and an internal investigation began.

That became a criminal investigation when it became clear that  the Facebook Accounts were fake but also that the person behind the messages was a serving police officer with "insider knowledge". A pattern was spotted in the wording of the messages and they were eventually traced back to White, whose home was searched and he was arrested.

Damion Lloyd, Senior Crown prosecutor with Mersey-Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service said: "James White was a serving police officer who used his position and IT knowledge to send sexually inappropriate messages to female officers via fake Facebook Accounts that he set up in the names of serving male officers.

"His offences were embarrassing and upsetting to both the men that he posed as and the women who received the messages.

"Despite initially admitting his guilt, White went on to deny everything and put his victims through the ordeal of a four day trial. He was obstructive at each step of the investigation, refusing to hand over his mobile phone and then refusing to give the investigation team the password to it. This is an offence in itself under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, so I authorised charge on that as well as stalking and harassment.

"This has been a very thorough investigation by Greater Manchester Police and the Crown Prosecution Service built a strong case that the Magistrates accepted, rejecting White's claims of innocence.

"White has since resigned from Greater Manchester Police. "White is a manipulative and deceptive man and I am sure his victims will be extremely glad that that this case has been brought to a successful conclusion."