Thames Valley Police officer admits sex act with girl, 13, and recording crime on her mobile phone

Undated handout photo issued by Northamptonshire Police of Former PC Luke Christopher Horner, 24, of Thames Valley Police who has admitted to penetrative sexual activity with a 13-year-old girl. In a hearing at Northampton Crown Court on Thursday, Luke, who was based in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, pleaded guilty to a charge of sexual activity with a child. Issue date: Thursday August 3, 2023.
PC Luke Horner, of Thames Valley Police, recorded the sexual act on the victim's mobile phone. Credit: Northamptonshire Police

A serving police officer has admitted to sexual activity with a 13-year-old girl, and recording the crime on her mobile phone.

PC Luke Horner, of Thames Valley Police, travelled to Rushden in Northamptonshire while off-duty to commit the offence on 11 June this year, Northampton Crown Court was told.

The 24-year-old, who is based in Amersham in Buckinghamshire, pleaded guilty to a charge of sexual activity with a child.

A second count, of making an indecent image of a child, was removed from the indictment, with prosecutor Ben Gow claiming this offence formed part of the sexual activity.

He also said the defendant recorded the act on his victim’s phone.

He said: “I understand that the pleas are entered on the basis he did record [the sexual activity] and the phone was in his hand.

“The phone was not his phone, it was belonging to the child in question.

“It can be seen in his hand in the video.

“We regard this as one of the culpability features of the offence in question.”

Wearing a light grey suit, white shirt and blue tie, Horner spoke only to confirm his identity and enter his plea over a video link from HMP Peterborough, in Cambridgeshire.

Charges against Horner were brought by Northamptonshire Police, but Thames Valley Police has suspended him from duty and has launched a separate misconduct investigation.

The force has also referred the matter to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

Judge Rebecca Crane remanded Horner into further custody until sentencing at the same court on 8 September.

Deputy Chief Constable Ben Snuggs, of Thames Valley Police, said colleagues are "all appalled by Luke Horner's crimes".

Detective Sergeant Sarah Osborne, who led the investigation, said: “First of all, I want to thank the family of the young girl in this case who put their trust in us to investigate it and bring Luke Horner to justice.

“I am pleased that he has pleaded guilty today which has prevented them from having to go through the trauma of a trial, and I hope that whilst what happened can never be erased, this result will allow them to move forward.

“Cases of child sexual exploitation are always abhorrent but the fact that Luke Christopher Horner was a serving Thames Valley police officer, in a position of trust, makes this case all the more shocking.

“He is a disgrace to the uniform and I am glad that he will now go to prison and never be allowed to call himself a police officer ever again."

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