Former Nottinghamshire Police officer spared jail after admitting child sex offences
A former Nottinghamshire Police officer has been spared jail after admitting a number of child sex offences.
Lee Bowditch, 48, appeared at Leicester Crown Court today for sentence having previously pleaded guilty to two counts of making indecent images of children and two counts of attempting to engage a child in sexual communication.
He was given an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for 24 months.
The former Newark officer was also given a ten-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order and placed on the Sex Offenders' Register for ten years.
He was arrested in April 2018 after he engaged with someone whom he believed to be a 14-year-old girl on a dating site private chat room. He sent the girl an indecent image of himself and messages of a sexual nature.
He was immediately suspended following his arrest and retired from the force in October 2018.
A Special Case Hearing was held during the course of legal proceedings where Chair Chief Constable Craig Guildford found him guilty of gross misconduct and ruled that had the officer still been serving, he would have been dismissed from the service. He will also appear on the barred list which prevents dismissed officers from working within policing and certain law enforcement bodies.
Speaking last month when Bowditch last appeared at court, Nottinghamshire Police Chief Constable Craig Guildford: "Former police officer Lee Bowditch has today admitted to downloading the most serious categorisation of indecent child images. He did this whilst still serving as a police officer and rather than safeguarding the vulnerable and seeking to stop such activity wherever it may present, a quest all our officers would want to undertake with all their energies, he participated in this repulsive criminal endeavour.
"I pay tribute to the skills and professionalism of our officers who identified this individual, pursued the evidence and brought him to justice. The guilty plea today represents the strength of that evidence and its presentation. This exceptionally rare case demonstrates that nobody is above the law and that we have an unstinting resolve to bring those who abuse or gain gratification from the abuse of children to justice. Former officer Bowditch is a disgrace to the uniform and the community alike."