Married police sergeant facing jail over child grooming charges

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A police sergeant has admitted two child grooming charges after a court heard he sent a photo of his penis to an undercover colleague posing online as a 12-year-old girl.

Married Stephen Shaw, of West Midlands Police, was arrested on Thursday after unwittingly sending messages to the covert officer via an unnamed social media platform.

The Luton-born 46-year-old, who served in the Coventry area, admitted charges of attempting to cause or incite a female under 13 to engage in sexual activity and attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child.

Following the guilty pleas at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court, prosecutor David Devine told the court: “Mr Shaw is currently a police officer and has been for a number of years.”

Telling magistrates that the sergeant had sent messages to a fake profile being operated by an officer pretending to be aged almost 13, Mr Devine added that Shaw had claimed she could “pass for 15” and then made numerous comments about sexual acts in online chats.

Arguing that Shaw should be granted bail, defence solicitor Sue Swan said his offending had spanned three days earlier this week.

West Midlands Police sergeant Stephen Shaw leaving Birmingham Magistrates' Court after pleading guilty to child grooming offences. (Photo credit: Matthew Cooper/PA)
West Midlands Police sergeant Stephen Shaw leaving Birmingham Magistrates’ Court (Matthew Cooper/PA)

Applying for bail despite the whereabouts of Shaw’s passport being unknown, Ms Swan added: “In relation to the suggestion that he would fail to surrender to bail, he is a man, until today, of exemplary good character.

“I have spoken to his wife. She is very upset, as you can imagine, but she says ‘I absolutely 100% support him’. She says this is not him.

“He is keen to have bail, not so much for himself but for his wife. This has happened so quickly they have not had a chance to sort out their affairs before a likely prison sentence.”

Magistrates made an order under the Contempt of Court Act banning publication of Shaw’s home address and granted him bail until a Crown Court sentencing hearing.

Shaw, who must abide by an electronically-monitored curfew and live at an address outside the West Midlands, was ordered to return to court on September 20.

A mandatory referral has been made to the Independent Office for Police Conduct by West Midlands Police in connection with Shaw’s arrest.

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