British: Former British police officer jailed for sexually abusing over 200 children
By Ahmad Hadizat Omayoza, Mamos Nigeria
A former British police officer convicted of pretending to be a teenager on social media to trick girls into sending explicit images of himself was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday by a Welsh court. Ta.
Lewis Edwards’ conviction followed a series of events that were highly detrimental to the British military, and particularly to the Metropolitan Police, the country’s largest police force.
Edwards, 24, had 210 girls aged between 10 and 16 send graphic images of themselves to Snapchat, a social media platform where the images usually disappear, which he then secretly stored. He abused her by doing so.
He will spend at least 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to 160 charges, including child sexual abuse and extortion.
Although Edwards refused to appear for sentencing, he was granted a one-third reduction in his sentence because he admitted to committing the crimes between November 2020 and February 2023.
“These are extremely serious offences and the defendant is a prolific offender,” Judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke said in the Cardiff Crown Court.
“It is clear that he not only gained sexual gratification but he also enjoyed the power he had over the young girls.”
Earlier this year, a review commissioned after the kidnap, rape and murder of a London woman, Sarah Everard, by serving Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens in 2021, found the country`s police to be institutionally racist, sexist and homophobic.
Since then another officer, David Carrick, has also been jailed for life for dozens of rapes and sexual assaults stretching back two decades.
The Met revealed in January that 1,071 of its own officers had been or were under investigation for domestic abuse and violence against women and girls.
In July the UK government announced new vetting standards for police officers, after a string of scandals rocked confidence in British policing.
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Under the changes, police officers who do not have minimum vetting clearance will be fired.
The revised statute also requires a security clearance to prevent previously fired officers from returning to the police force.
In September, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced that approximately 1,000 police officers had been suspended or placed on restricted duty as part of the clean-up operation.
During the trial, the court heard how Edwards, who joined South Wales Police in January 2021, threatened a number of victims by threatening to tell his family and friends if they did not send more graphic content. did.
Mr Edwards, who was suspended and resigned after his arrest in February, also threatened to blow up one of his victims’ home and shoot his parents if he stopped sending her photos.
Detectives searched the house he lived in with his parents in Bridgend, South Wales, and seized a mobile phone, computer, USB stick and hard drive.
Investigators found Edwards had 30 contacts.