April 2022

Met Police officer Francois Olwage jailed for child sex offences

A Metropolitan Police officer found guilty of child sex offences has been sentenced to five and a half years.

Detective constable Francois Olwage, 52, from Stevenage in Hertfordshire, arranged to meet who he thought was a 13-year-old girl for sex while on duty in October.

He spoke to the girl for two weeks on a chat forum, but she was in fact an undercover police officer.

A judge said he had shown “disregard for the public trust and confidence that is held in your office”.

Olwage, who has been suspended from duty and faces a police misconduct hearing on 31 May, had been convicted of attempted sexual communication with a child and attempting to cause/incite a girl aged 13 to engage in sexual activity.

The counter-terrorism officer was also found guilty of attempting to meet a girl under the age of 16 following grooming and of abusing his position as a police officer.

During his trial, Winchester Crown Court heard Olwage was having explicit sexual conversations with the “girl”, who had the username Smile Bear, before suggesting they meet in what the undercover officer had said was her hometown of Basingstoke, Hampshire.

He was arrested on the way after stopping at a McDonalds.

Olwage told the court that he “never believed” Smile Bear was a 13-year-old girl and that he thought it was an adult “playing out a fantasy”.

During sentencing, Judge Jane Miller QC said: “You were a highly regarded police officer with considerable experience.

“You were expected to uphold the law but by trying to take advantage of a vulnerable child, albeit fictional, you showed a disregard for the public trust and confidence that is held in your office.”

At the start of the trial Olwage admitted an offence of improperly exercising his police powers and privileges in order to receive the “benefit of sexual gratification”.

April 2022

Met officer found guilty of seeking sexual activity with 13-year-old girl

A Metropolitan police counter-terrorism officer has been found guilty of three offences after he arranged to a meet a 13-year-old girl for sexual activity while ‘on duty’

Francois Olwage, a detective constable who was serving with the Met’s specialist operations unit, was convicted of grooming someone he believed to be a 13-year-old girl he had met on the Lycos online chat forum.

But Winchester crown court heard that the 52-year-old defendant was actually chatting with an undercover police officer pretending to be the girl using the username of Smile Bear, before moving to WhatsApp using the name Caitlin.

The trial heard that after two weeks of explicit sexual conversations in October 2021, Olwage, of Stevenage, Hertfordshire, arranged to meet the “girl”, who had told him that she lived in Basingstoke, Hampshire.

Peter Shaw, prosecuting, told the jury that Olwage had been listed as “on duty working from home” on 28 October 2022, the date he travelled by train to Basingstoke with the aim of meeting the “girl”.

Olwage was arrested at a McDonald’s restaurant in Basingstoke by two undercover officers as he was about to buy a McFlurry ice cream to take to his meeting with “Caitlin”.

When searched, the officers found in his bag two condoms, a bottle of lubricant and a packet of Tadalafil erectile dysfunction tablets.

There was also a box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates which Shaw suggested was a present for the “girl”.

Olwage told the court that he “never believed” Smile Bear was a 13-year-old girl and that he thought it was an adult “playing out a fantasy”.

He also denied any sexual interest in children.

Olwage was convicted of attempted sexual communication with a child, attempting to cause or incite a girl aged 13 to engage in sexual activity, and attempting to meet a girl under the age of 16 following grooming.

He also pleaded guilty at the start of the trial to an offence of improperly exercising his police powers and privileges in order to receive the “benefit of sexual gratification”.

The judge ordered the jury to find him not guilty of arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence.

Adjourning the case for sentencing, Judge Jane Miller QC told Olwage: “In view of the jury’s verdicts you fall to be sentenced and you will be remanded in custody until 27 April, when sentence will take place.”