A former Greater Manchester Police (GMP) Special Constable has been jailed after pleading guilty to grooming and sexual activity with a child.
Today (9 August 2106) America Luke Richardson, 22, was sentenced to 5 years in prison at Manchester Crown Court. He has also been given a sexual harm prevention order and will be on the sex offenders register for life.
He pleaded guilty to seven counts of sexual activity with a child, one count of meeting a child following grooming and one count of taking indecent photographs of a child.
Richardson was suspended from GMP in January 2014 after it was discovered he was using his role inappropriately and he had entered a school on independent patrol without authorisation. Richardson’s uniform and warrant card were removed from him.
Following his suspension Richardson again went into a sixth form college in a police uniform. A criminal investigation was opened a warrant was issued to search his home. A large quantity of police uniform to the value of £970 was seized.
He was subsequently arrested for theft of a GMP uniform.
Richardson was charged and appeared at Liverpool Crown Court on Wednesday 13 January 2016 where he pleaded guilty to theft and has today been sentenced to 12 months in prison for this crime. This sentence is to run concurrently. He was formally dismissed from GMP in April 2016.
An investigation began in September 2015 after allegations arose of inappropriate contact with children.
Richardson was arrested and a second search on his home was undertaken and his computer, phone and tablets were seized.
There was then a detailed investigation where police discovered evidence of an inappropriate relationship with a 14-year-old girl from Essex.
The confiscated phone and computer equipment revealed 4000 messages had been sent to the girl in Essex and the victim revealed that the pair had met up in a hotel booked by Richardson. In December 2015 he was charged with a number of sexual offences and was remanded into custody.
Superintendent Mark Kenny from GMP’s Salford Borough said: “I am pleased that America Luke Richardson is now off the streets and unable to harm any more young girls.
“We are continuing to investigate the possibility that Richardson may have more victims and we are appealing for anyone who may have been approached inappropriately by him online, or in person to come and speak to police.
“Richardson (pictured) joined GMP in May 2013, as soon as it was discovered that Richardson was behaving inappropriately he was removed from all duties.”
Anyone who may have been affected by this case or may believe they have had inappropriate contact with Richardson should contact police on 0161 856 7791 or 101 or via the independent charity Crimestoppers.
If you have any concerns that you or a young person you know may be a victim of online grooming advice is available at http://www.itsnotokay.co.uk. The website has details of local specialist teams in your area.