Ex-Nottinghamshire Police officer sentenced over 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 who committed child sex offences has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Lee Bowditch, 49, admitted two counts of making indecent images of children and two counts of attempting to engage a child in sexual communication.

He was given an eight-month sentence, suspended for 24 months, at Leicester Crown Court.

Bowditch, from Radcliffe-on-Trent, was also placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years.

The former officer was also given a 10-year sexual harm prevention order.

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

The officer also pleaded guilty to downloading the most serious kind of indecent images of children.

'A disgrace'

Nottinghamshire Police's Chief Constable Craig Guildford said previously that Bowditch "admitted to downloading the most serious categorisation of indecent child images".

He 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... he participated in this repulsive criminal endeavour.

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

Nottinghamshire Police said Bowditch 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.

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