Nottingham

Ex Nottinghamshire Police officer admits child sex crimes

Police officers
Image caption The former officer was arrested in April last year after talking to someone he believed to be a 14-year-old girl on a dating site private chat room

A former police officer has admitted committing child sex offences.

Lee Bowditch, 49, was arrested after contacting a 14-year-old girl via a dating site and sending her an indecent image and sexual messages.

The Nottinghamshire officer also pleaded guilty to downloading indecent images of children "in the most serious category", the force said.

He admitted four charges in total and is due to be sentenced at Leicester Crown Court on 13 March.

'Disgrace to the uniform'

Chief Constable Craig Guildford said Bowditch "admitted to downloading the most serious categorisation of indecent child images".

Mr Guildford said: "He did this whilst still serving as a police officer and rather than safeguarding the vulnerable and seeking to stop such activity wherever it may present, a quest all our officers would want to undertake with all their energies, he participated in this repulsive criminal endeavour.

"Former officer Bowditch is a disgrace to the uniform and the community alike."  

Bowditch admitted two counts of attempting to engage a child in sexual communication, having previously admitted two counts of making indecent images of children.

Nottinghamshire Police said the ex-Newark officer, of Paddock Close, Radcliffe-on-Trent, was immediately suspended following his arrest and retired from the force in October.

A special case hearing also found him guilty of gross misconduct and ruled that had he still been serving, he would have been dismissed from the force.

He will also appear on the barred list, which prevents dismissed officers from working within policing and certain law enforcement bodies, police said.

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