Policeman sacked after admitting online grooming charges

A police sergeant who admitted two child grooming charges after sending an indecent image to an undercover officer has been sacked by his force for gross misconduct.

West Midlands Police officer Stephen Shaw was dismissed without notice on Wednesday after a misconduct hearing chaired by his Chief Constable.

A hearing at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court in August was told Shaw sent messages to a social media account being operated by an undercover officer posing online as a 12-year-old girl.

Married Shaw was arrested on August 22 and appeared in court the following day to admit 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.

Police sergeant admits grooming charges
Stephen Shaw leaving Birmingham Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty to child grooming offences in August (Matthew Cooper/PA)

The Luton-born 46-year-old, who served in the Coventry area, was granted bail pending a sentencing hearing in November.

The earlier hearing was told Shaw sent messages to a fake profile being operated by an officer pretending to be aged almost 13, telling her she could “pass for 15” before making numerous comments about sexual acts in online chats.

A lawyer acting for Shaw said the officer had never met with a child he had chatted to online and had “half expected” the profile he had contacted to be an adult posing as a youngster.

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