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Police officer caught with vile child abuse images to face misconduct hearing

The case of a former police officer who made indecent images of young boys will be formally considered by an internal misconduct panel this week.

Christopher Richards, who was a detective constable with Leicestershire Police but was living in West Bridgford, was convicted of a number of offences and was jailed for six years in October at Nottingham Crown Court.

The force is able to bring gross misconduct charges against him now even though he is locked up and had previously resigned from his post as criminal proceedings have concluded.

The hearing, which is due to take place on Friday this week, will be told Richards breached police standards on professional behaviour.

It will be told that Richards, who worked in the force’s complex crimes unit, had no legal reason for accessing, downloading and sharing indecent images of children.

A court heard last month that the 45-year-old had taken part in a number of highly sexualised conversations online, where he outlined his desires to “make love” to young boys.

Among these was the fictitious step-son of a man he met online who turned out to be an undercover police officer, Nottingham Crown Court heard.

During the hearing, Richards also confessed to having sexual encounters with children as young as 14 and 16.

Richards, who lived in West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, was arrested in March 2020 and suspended by Leicestershire Police while he was under investigation. He resigned from the force two months later.

During searches of his property, officers found three images found on Richards’ Apple MacBook which were classed as the most serious – Category A – indecent images of children.

There were also five Category B images and two in Category C, the least serious.

Two Category A images were also found on Richards’ Samsung phone, while a third phone contained two Category C images of children.

The panel can formally rule that Richards would have been dismissed had he still been a serving officer.

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