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Metropolitan police officer found guilty of child sex offences

|News, Sexual offences

Metropolitan police officer Francois Olwage has been found guilty of three child sex offences.

Olwage, 52, was convicted of attempting to groom and engage in sexual activity with a child. The jury found him guilty at Winchester Crown Court today (14 April).

On 28 October 2021, while he was on duty, Olwage intended to meet a 13-year-old girl at a flat in Basingstoke, having spent the previous two weeks grooming her via private online messages. At the time of his arrest that same day, he was found carrying condoms, lubricant, and a Viagra-like drug.

Unknown to Olwage, the person he was messaging was actually an undercover police officer posing as a young teenage girl online.

Despite being told of her age in their first conversation, Olwage continually made sexual remarks in his messages over the course of the two weeks prior to his arrest.

In his written statement to the police, Olwage claimed he did not believe the person he was messaging was actually a 13-year-old girl, but that she was a woman playing out a fantasy online, which he indulged. He denied that the arranged meeting would involve any sexual activity.

However, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) presented overwhelming evidence against him – including his messages, a phone conversation, and the items he carried on the day he planned to meet her.

On the first day of the trial, Olwage pleaded guilty to improper exercise of police powers and privileges, because he was on duty when he went to meet his victim. However, he continued to deny the other offences.

The jury found him guilty of attempted sexual communication with a child, attempting to incite a child into sexual activity, and meeting a child following sexual grooming.

Senior Crown Prosecutor Marc Thompson from the CPS said: “Francois Olwage had every intention of grooming and meeting a 13-year-old girl. He denied any sexual interest in children, yet the evidence we presented was strong enough for the jury to be sure he was guilty.

“Olwage’s messages made it clear he believed he was in contact with a child. Despite this belief, he exchanged messages about sexual acts, and was grooming her. On the day he planned to meet with his victim, he abandoned his police duties to pursue sexual gratification from someone he believed to be a child.

“No actual children were in danger, but it has given us a glimpse into what this man is capable of doing when he thinks he can rely on the anonymity of the internet. This is made all the more serious because he has broken the trust of the public he has sworn to protect.”

He will be sentenced on 27 April.

Notes to editors

Francois Olwage (D.O.B. 04.04.1970) was convicted of:

  • Attempted sexual communication with a child
  • Attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity
  • Meeting a child following sexual grooming

The judge directed a not guilty verdict on a count of arranging or facilitating commission of a child sex offence.

He pleaded guilty to corrupt or other improper exercise of police powers and privileges at the same court on 11 April 2022.

At the time of his arrest, he was a serving detective constable in the Metropolitan Police Service.

Marc Thompson is a Senior Crown Prosecutor and Rape and Serious Sexual Offences specialist for CPS Thames and Chiltern.

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