[Pic: Bradley Page/Daily Mail]
Met Police chief Mark Rowley described the case as 'ghastly' when questioned on Wednesday by the London Assembly
A serving Metropolitan Police officer has confessed to a string of "sickening" child sex offences.
PC Hussain Chehab admitted sexual activity with a girl aged 13 to 15 before he became a police officer, but also offences linked to indecent images of children that he committed while in the force.
The 22-year-old pleaded guilty at Wood Green Crown Court on Tuesday 24 January to four counts of sexual activity with a girl aged 13 to 15.
The offences took place between March and September 2019, before Chehab joined the Metropolitan Police the following year.
These crimes only came to light when the girl’s family reported them in July 2021 - they told of how their daughter had been in a sexual relationship with Chehab, which later emerged began when she was just 14.
Chehab was arrested on 24 August 2021, during which time a number of digital devices were seized but was still allowed to work on restricted duties.
This meant he was permitted to work within the confines of a police building in a non-public-facing role and was not allowed to have any contact with schools or children.
Once police investigated his devices a number of indecent images were found and Chehab was suspended from duty.
He was further arrested on 28 October 2021.
Police also discovered messages between him and a 14-year-old girl engaging in sexual communication.
Chehab also admitted to three counts of making indecent photographs of a child and one of engaging in sexual communication with a child.
The Met Police said some of these offences were committed while he was posted at a north London school between May and August 2021.
Chehab will be sentenced at Wood Green Crown Court on March 17.
Detective Chief Superintendent Caroline Haines, who worked with Chehab in Enfield, said: “Our thoughts foremost today are with the young girls who Chehab exploited and took advantage of for his own sexual gratification.
“These offences are made all the more sickening by the fact that some of the image offences were committed while PC Chehab was in a role as a Safer Schools officer attached to a secondary school in Enfield between May 2021 and his arrest in August 2021.
“Once the initial allegations against Pc Chehab were made, he was immediately removed from his role while the investigation took place.
“We have worked closely with the school concerned, and Enfield local authority, to ensure that there were no further unreported safeguarding incidents or missed opportunities.”
Ms Haines said no concerns were raised about Chehab either in the recruitment process or later when he was vetted to work in a school.
She added: “A review of the information provided to the Met prior to him joining as a police officer was carried out and nothing was found that could have indicated his offending.
“Prior to commencing his role as a Safer Schools officer, he was also subject to further Child and Vulnerable Group Supervision vetting, in line with the current vetting standards for all those who work with children and young persons.
“This news will of course cause considerable damage and concern, not only to the local community but Londoners as a whole, who place their trust in police officers to go into our schools alongside their children every day and keep them safe.
“While no evidence has been found linking any of Chehab’s offending to his role, we are engaging with our local schools, community forums and independent advisory groups to reassure them following the damage his actions will have caused.
No verdict was recorded in a further four counts of making indecent photographs of a child, which the judge ordered to lie on file.
An accelerated misconduct process will be held in light of the guilty pleas, the Met said.
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