A Metropolitan Police officer has been found guilty of misconduct in public office after meeting a 15-year-old girl in a park and sending a 16-year-old girl dozens of text messages.

Jurors at Southwark Crown Court heard Pc Adnan Arib, 45, continued contact with the 15-year-old after first being called to the girl’s flat by her mother, who had accused her of stealing £10 in July 2019.

He was also accused of telling the second girl she was “very pretty” and inviting her out after she had been brought into Bethnal Green police station, east London, where he was based, following her being reported as a missing person.

The court heard Arib had described himself as “naive and foolish” and claimed he believed offering careers guidance to the two girls was part of his wider policing duties.

But on Wednesday, a jury returned verdicts of guilty to two counts of misconduct in public office.

Arib sat in the dock wearing a dark jacket over a red-and-black shirt while the verdicts were announced.

The court heard how, during a conversation in the 15-year-old’s bedroom, Arib asked her to write her phone number, name and other details on a piece of paper.

Prosecutors claimed he also mouthed to her to “say no” when he questioned her about the suspected theft, which he denied doing.

The officer said he had instead offered the youngster guidance on work experience including the police cadets and arranged to see her again to discuss it further.

He claimed he had planned to talk through “interview techniques” and “careers advice” with her when he met her in a nearby park after she finished school, the court heard.

After waiting for her to arrive and texting to remind her about the arrangement, Arib allegedly asked her if she had a boyfriend and suggested taking her out for a drink, jurors were told.

The girl later said in an interview that the alleged comments made her feel “uncomfortable”, the court heard.

Arib denied having raised either topic and claimed he would rather have gone straight home from work that day but stayed to avoid disappointing her.

The 16-year-old first came into contact with Arib after being picked up by police after she was reported missing on April 1 2019.

The court heard how she began to feel “uncomfortable and a bit weird” when Arib allegedly started quizzing her about her personal life in the station.

Jurors were told he asked for her phone number and if she was in a relationship, said she was “very pretty” and that he wanted to take her out.

Arib was said to have accessed a police report about her and officers later found 47 text messages had been sent between them on a phone he had initially tried to deny was his, the court heard.

He will be sentenced on March 3.

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