Face of sick Brit police officer who raped 12-year-old child over eight years

An ex-Greater Manchester Police detective has been found guilty of raping a 12-year-old girl.

Stephen Hardy was accused of repeatedly assaulting the child over an eight-year period – but he denies the 20 charges against him.

But yesterday at Liverpool Crown Court the 46-year-old was found guilty of rape, sexual assault and causing a child to engage in sexual activity after a four-week trial.

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He was charged in July last year and suspended from the force, he will be sentenced on September 11 for the sickening abuse.

Jo Palmiero, senior crown prosecutor for CPS North West's rape and serious sexual abuse unit, said Hardy was in a position of trust and manipulated his victim.

She said: “Stephen Hardy gained the trust of the child before subjecting them to sickening sexual abuse, with no thought for the lasting damage his abuse would cause.

“Hardy was a police officer, in a position of trust, who manipulated and controlled his victim.”

Detective Sergeant Abigail Thomas of Greater Manchester Police's Major Incident Team, who led the investigation into Hardy, added: “Stephen Hardy has been exposed as a manipulative individual who committed abhorrent offences over a significant period of time. His behaviour and actions go against everything we stand for within policing.

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“Tackling violence against women and girls is one of the Force's top priorities, and anyone found within the organisation to be abusing their position to harm others can expect to face the consequences.

“I hope this investigation and sentencing reassures the public that we do treat allegations of this nature extremely seriously and will not shy away from pursuing criminal charges against officers if they are deemed to have acted unlawfully.

“I commend those who have assisted with our investigation and would like to encourage anyone else who has either been a victim or who has witnessed or is aware of sexual abuse or criminal activity taking place to come forward and speak to us so we can take action.”

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