Update: Police officer jailed for trying to meet up with 13-year-old girl for sex after grooming her online is thrown out of the force


Update: Police officer jailed for trying to meet up with 13-year-old girl for sex after grooming her online is thrown out of the force

A Met Police detective who tried to meet with a 13-year-old girl for sex has been kicked out of the force.

Francois Olwage, 52, intended to meet the teenager at a flat in Basingstoke while on duty, having spent the last two weeks grooming her via private online messages.

But when Olwage set out to meet the girl, he found the person he was messaging was actually an undercover police officer. He was found carrying condoms, lubricant, and a Viagra-like drug when officers arrested him.

In a statement to police, he claimed he did not believe the person he was messaging was a 13-year-old girl, but a woman playing out an online fantasy that he indulged.

He also denied the arranged meeting would involve any sexual activity.

The detective has now been dismissed without notice following a Met Police misconduct hearing in Fulham.

Olwage, who worked as a Detective Constable for the force’s counter-terrorism unit, was found guilty of three child sex offences at Winchester Crown Court earlier this month.

Jailing him for five-and-a-half years, Judge Jane Miller QC said: ‘As a police officer your conduct should have been expected to be of impeccable standards.

‘The public expects to have faith in police officers and their integrity.

‘By intending to take sexual advantage of a child you showed total disregard for your office.’

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.

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’.

Judge Miller said: ‘By the fifth day you told her that you wanted chat about sex. You told her what you wanted to do with her and how she would enjoy it.

‘We saw over 130 images of over 130 texts and heard two phone calls between you and an undercover police officer pretending to be Caitlin.

‘We saw you suggesting you go to Basingstoke and we know you had booked a hotel room for the night.

‘You asked Caitlin to stay longer. You asked her for dinner and told her about being with her the next morning.

‘You were in McDonald’s when you were arrested and buying a McFlurry ice cream that Caitlin had requested.

‘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’.

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.

Following his jailing at Winchester Crown Court in April, 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.’

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.

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