Policeman jailed for internet grooming

A FORMER Metropolitan Police officer has been jailed after admitting grooming a young girl on the internet.

Thomas Dawes, of Marlborough Road, South Woodford, was given a 33-month jail term after he was arrested following a Met Police operation.

The 55-year-old electrician, who retired from the Met in 2004 after 26 years, was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court yesterday.

Dawes, who had appeared at the same court on Monday, admitted attempting to meet a girl under the age of 16 years following sexual grooming, causing a child to watch or look at an image of sexual activity and five counts of possessing indecent images of children and distributing indecent images of children.

A Met Police spokeswoman said: “The case follows a Metropolitan Police Service operation designed to target paedophiles using the internet to track vulnerable children.

“Dawes believed he was in contact with a young girl called ‘Emily’ but was actually arranging to meet an undercover officer from the Met’s Child Abuse and Investigation Command.”

He was arrested in April at South Woodford tube station while waiting for the fictitious 13-year-old.

After the court hearing Dawes’ brother Mike said his family want nothing to do with him.

Mr Dawes, of Dereham, Norfolk, said: “It’s over now as far as we are concerned.

“He is now of no fixed address as he sold his house in east London while he was on remand.

“He is not living up here.”

Dawes was also placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register indefinitely.