Mottram police officer found guilty of sexual offences

A FORMER police officer from Mottram has been found guilty of a string of ‘sickening’ sexual offences against a girl who was just 12-years-old when the abuse started.

Ex-detective Stephen Hardy was convicted of 20 offences including rape, sexual assault and causing a child to engage in sexual activity between December 2012 and June 2020.

A four-week trial at Liverpool Crown Court heard how the 45-year-old ‘gained power and control’ and described the child’s virginity as ‘special’.

Vanessa Thomson, prosecuting, alleged Hardy ‘physically bullied’ the victim, showing pornographic material on his phone.

Hardy, who worked in Greater Manchester Police’s Stockport division, denied there had been any sexual contact between him and the child and pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

But after the jury’s verdict, sentencing will take place on September 11.

Jo Palmiero, Senior Crown Prosecutor for Crown Prosecution Service North West’s rape and serious sexual abuse unit 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.

“The CPS worked closely with Greater Manchester Police to build the case and applied for the victim to give evidence over live link and for two witnesses to be screened from Hardy, so they all felt able to give their best evidence at trial.

“I would like to commend the victim for reporting the abuse and supporting the prosecution.”

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