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Suspended sentence for officer’s child sexual communication attempt

A serving BTP officer was sentenced after pleading guilty to two counts of attempting sexual communication with a child.

A BTP officer has been given a suspended sentence after asking who he thought was a 12 year old girl to send him intimate photos.

Sergeant James Chatfield, 36, had used Snapchat and Chat Avenue, posing as a 17 year old boy, on 23 and 26 September when he began conversations with who he believed to be a 12 year old girl.

He was actually talking to an undercover officer from South Wales.

Enquiries on his IP address revealed Sergeant Chatfield was a police officer and the incidents were reported to BTP’s PSD.

He subsequently pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted to engage in sexual communication with a child.

This week he was given a sentence of six months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, and a seven year Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

Police Oracle understands he was suspended immediately when the allegations came to light and has now resigned. 

Deputy Chief Constable Alistair Sutherland said: “As police officers it is our overriding duty to protect the public and particularly the vulnerable from harm, so it is profoundly disturbing to know that a serving officer could ever consider exploiting a child for their own sexual gain.

“It is thanks to the swift and thorough investigation by our Professional Standards Department, working with South Wales Police, that Chatfield was arrested, charged, and sentenced within less than three months of these abhorrent offences.”

Fast track disciplinary proceedings are due to take place in the New Year.

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