Bromley police officer, seen fondling and kissing young girl in Orpington, pleads guilty to child sex offences (From News Shopper)
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Bromley police officer, seen fondling and kissing young girl in Orpington, pleads guilty to child sex offences
A BROMLEY police officer today pleaded guilty to sexual offences against a child.
Police Constable Andrew Gouge pleaded guilty at Woolwich Crown Court to meeting a child following grooming and sexual activity with a child.
The 34-year-old, from Grays, Essex, was arrested on April 24 after witnesses saw him kissing and fondling a young girl in Orpington.
Gouge first met the victim, who was 13 at the time, via an internet chatroom.
After exchanging Blackberry Messenger details they met up on a number of occasions, usually in public parks, where they would kiss.
Following his arrest Gouge was taken to Lewisham police station and charged.
Detective Chief Inspector Pete Thomas, from the sexual offences, exploitation and child abuse command, said: "Andrew Gouge has shown himself to be someone who has targeted, groomed and exploited a vulnerable young child for his own sexual needs.
"His conduct has caused significant harm and the investigation highlights the need to remain vigilant to the risks posed by social media and the internet in order to safeguard children.
"The Metropolitan Police Service is committed to protecting children and bringing sexual predators like Gouge to justice."
Commander Allan Gibson, of the directorate of professional standards, said: "Gouge signed up to protect and serve his community; but seriously failed in that commitment and has caused untold harm to the victim, her family and his own friends and colleagues.
"He has tarnished the reputation of both the organisation and his colleagues.
"All members of the police service are expected to behave impeccably whilst on and off duty. Gouge did no such thing."
Gouge, who was working for the metropolitan police safer transport command, will now be subject to a full misconduct hearing.
He will be sentenced on September 30.
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