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Met counter-terrorism officer guilty of three child sex offences

The Met Detective Constable was found guilty following a trial at Winchester Crown Court.

DC Francois Olwage, a counter terrorism officer, was found guilty of three child sex offences after he arranged to meet a 13-year-old girl for sex when he was on duty but working from home. 

He was convicted of grooming a person he believed to be a 13-year-old girl he met on an online chat forum, Lycos. 

In fact, the 52-year-old had been chatting to an undercover officer who had used the username ‘Smile Bear’ on the online forum and then Caitlin once the chat moved to Whatsapp, as part of a Hertfordshire investigation. 

DC Olwage engaged in two weeks of explicit sexual conversations and had arranged to meet the “girl”. 

He travelled from Hertfordshire, where he lived, to Basingstoke, where he thought she lived, on a day he was listed as “on duty working from home”. 

He was arrested on October 29 2021 at a McDonalds in Basingstoke where he had been in the process of buying a McFlurry to take to “Caitlin”. 

A search found two condoms, a bottle of lubricant and a packet of Tadalafil erectile disfunction tablets in his bag, along with a box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates. 

He was immediately suspended from duties upon his arrest. 

Olwage told the jury they he had known all along he wasn’t speaking with a 13-year-old and that he thought it was an adult “playing out a fantasy”. 

He denied having any sexual interest in children. 

The undercover officer gave evidence during the trial that he had explicitly said the girl was aged 13, and that the defendant had replied “Are you OK chatting with me, I could be your dad?” 

He was convicted of attempted sexual communication with a child, attempting to cause/incite a girl aged 13 to engage in sexual activity, and attempting to meet a girl under 16 following grooming. 

He had already pleaded guilty to a charge of improperly exercising his police powers for the “benefit of sexual gratification”. 

The judge ordered the jury to find him not guilty of arranging/facilitating the commission of a child sex offence. 

He will be sentenced on April 27 and will now face misconduct proceedings after the IOPC determined a local investigation be carried out. 

Detective Chief Superintendent Donna Smith, of the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards, said: “These are appalling crimes, and the fact that these crimes were committed by a police officer makes them all the more deplorable.

“It goes without saying that officers who behave like Olwage have no place in the Metropolitan Police Service. His offending is deeply disturbing and shocking, and he has now rightly been brought to justice thanks to an investigation by colleagues from Hertfordshire Police.”

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