A Metropolitan Police officer who tried to send “highly sexualised” messages to a 13-year-old girl has been jailed for more than two years after he was caught in an undercover sting.
Detective Constable Mark Collins, 58, admitted one count of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity and six counts of attempting to engage in sexual communications with a child.
The Old Bailey heard Collins, from Fleet, in Hampshire, thought he was talking to a 13-year-old girl when he sent pictures of his privates over the Kik Messenger app while he was on holiday in Malta.
He also commented on her “body developing” and talked about “naughty urges” and “being horny” in November 2019 in conversations that he said should be deleted.
But Collins, who joined the force in 1991, was in fact communicating with an undercover officer and was arrested at work in Bromley police station on November 26.
The court heard some of the messages were sent when Collins’s shift pattern suggests he was on duty, but prosecutor David Povall said it could not be proved to the criminal standard.
Jailing him for two years and four months on Friday, Judge Mark Lucraft QC described the messages as being of a “highly sexualised nature”.
“It is clear many of the messages you sent are explicit, setting out what you were imagining, your sexual feelings towards her naked body,” the judge told Collins.
“It is clear from the content and tone that the messages were sent for the purposes of obtaining sexual gratification.”
Collins, who resigned from the Met after his arrest, was found to have committed gross misconduct at a disciplinary hearing last week and the force said he would have been sacked if he were still a serving officer.
Karen Robinson, defending, said the father-of-two’s offending had “no connection to his role or his duties as a police officer”.
“It is, for someone who held his position, a spectacular fall from grace,” she said. “He must live with the shame and indignity his conduct has brought upon himself and others.”