September 2023

GMP detective convicted of 20 offences including rape and child sexual offences

A detective who subjected a child to “sickening sexual abuse” from the age of 12, including degrading rape, has been jailed for 26 years.

Stephen Hardy, of Greater Manchester Police (GMP), was convicted of 20 sexual abuse offences including six counts of rape.

The 46-year-old did not show “one iota of remorse” for his behaviour, the sentencing judge said.

He had denied carrying out the offences between December 2012 and June 2020.

Hardy, of Hyde Road in Mottram, Tameside, was previously convicted of multiple counts of rape; sexual assault; causing a child to engage in sexual activity and to watch sexual activity; and assault by penetration.

The officer was convicted following a four-week trial at Liverpool Crown Court.

Judge Robert Trevor-Jones told Hardy he had treated his victim “like a puppet or sex object” and had held a spell over them.

He ruled Hardy, who worked in the Stockport area, was a dangerous offender and imposed an extended six year licence.

The judge said: “You have never shown one iota of remorse for your behaviour.

“The indictment reflects a highly calculated and cynical course of grooming behaviour.”

He described Hardy as having a “devious” personality with a “sinister streak”.

He added: “You were of course, previously, of good character. You have been a long-serving police officer.

“That is a career which will now inevitably end.”

The judge added: “You would have been well aware of the widespread and lasting trauma that victims of sexual abuse suffer and yet you gave no thought to that and that is an aggravating factor.”

Vanessa Thomson, prosecuting, said the victim, who sat in court with family members, reported the abuse to police in 2020.

In a statement read to the court, the victim said the abuse had permanently affected their mental health and left them scared for the future.

It had also left them with a “deep fear of authority figures, despite overcoming that fear to report these crimes”.

July 2023

Greater Manchester Police detective found guilty of raping 12-year-old child in horrific spate of abuse that took place over eight years

A ‘devious’ Greater Manchester Police detective has been found guilty of repeatedly raping and sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl.

Detective Constable Stephen Hardy groomed his victim and ‘gained power and control’ over her, a jury was told.

The 46-year-old, from Tameside, faced the floor as the unanimous verdict was announced at Liverpool Crown Court yesterday (July 28).

Vanessa Thomson, prosecuting, had told the court the offences spanned eight years and began when the girl was 12 years old.

The court heard that the disgraced officer, who was a detective in the Stockport area, had described the girl’s virginity as ‘special’. But when he discovered the girl had lost her virginity to her boyfriend, he began having sexual intercourse with her which she did not want.

Jurors were also told that Hardy carried out other unwanted sexual activity involving urination. The victim had been concerned about who would believe her if she told anyone, because of Hardy’s role as a detective, the court heard.

Members of the jury only needed three hours and 19 minutes to make up their minds that Hardy was guilty of all 20 charges he faced, following a four-week trial.

Judge Robert Trevor-Jones told Hardy: “You know more than anyone else perhaps in this situation the type of sentence you face.”

He replied: “Yes your Honour.” Hardy, of Hyde Road, Mottram, had pleaded his innocence against all 20 charges.

He was convicted of multiple counts of rape, sexual assault, causing a child to engage in sexual activity and to watch sexual activity, and assault by penetration.

The officer, who had been on bail, was remanded in custody to await sentence on September 11 and has to sign on the Sex Offenders’ Register on an interim basis.