October 2021

Disgraced police officer who had a ‘sexual interest in children’ jailed

A former detective has been jailed over vile comments made online where he said he wanted to have sexual relations with a child.

Disgraced police officer Christopher Richards has been jailed for six years after explicit chatroom chats led to his fall from grace.

The former nurse was convicted by a jury on Monday, October 18, of two charges.

The six-year sentence was imposed on a charge of attempting to arrange the commission of a child sex offence on December 19, 2019.

Richards, told a man called “Lee” online, who turned out to be an undercover police officer, that he wanted to make love to Lee’s step-son.

Judge James Sampson, who sentenced Richards, of West Bridgford, said the defendant had told the undercover police officer he wanted to meet and make love to his fictitious step-son

“The fact you were proposing to commit the offence with another adult is an aggravating factor,” he said.

Richards, who resigned from the force in May, was also convicted by a jury at Nottingham Crown Court of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child on a day before March 12, 2020.

This was met with a one-year concurrent sentence. Richards had been communicating with a boy who said he was 13.

Police have not been able to trace whoever the person was to confirm he was in fact a 13-year-old boy, which is why the offence was charged as an attempt.

The judge said the conversation was short-lived and, although the communication was undoubtedly sexual, “it did not appear to be leading to anything other than talk”.

The jury found him not guilty of one charge (count 2) on Tuesday, October 19. This alleged causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity on a day before March 12, 2020, where he allegedly caused or incited a 14-year-old boy to engage in a sex act.

Richards, 45, received concurrent sentences for six charges of making indecent images of children – 16 images across all Categories from A (the most serious) to C, the least serious, which were found on two mobile phones.

The court was told it was clear Richards was using anti-forensic apps such as Shred-It and encrypted Cloud storage, and that Richards was looking at images of this nature from late 2016 and he had a “sexual interest in male children”.

Richards, sitting in the dock with no visible emotion, was told: “Every rotten police officer undermines, in a wholly disproportionate way, public confidence in the police service.”