A serving police officer from Hertfordshire Constabulary has today been convicted of multiple child abuse offences following a trial at Cambridge Crown Court.
James Ford, 31, faced 11 counts which included the rape of an under 13 child which occurred between December 1, 2019 and September 30, 2021.
He was also convicted of perverting the course of justice by resetting his phone on October 17, 2021.
Ford joined the force in December 2019 and was originally based as an uniformed response officer in East Herts has been suspended since November last year.
He has been found guilty on all charges and was remanded.
He is due back to be sentenced on Friday 21st October.
When the allegations emerged, the case was independently investigated by specialist officers based within the Child Abuse Investigation and Safeguarding Unit (CAISU) at Cambridgeshire Constabulary.
The matter was also referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct and the force’s Professional Standards Department.
The court heard how the charges relate to one victim who cannot be identified and who has been given full support by trained officers also from Cambridgeshire. They occurred over a period of 21 months and came to light when the victim made disclosures to her father.
Detective Inspector Susie Hine, who heads the CAISU team, said: “Firstly I want to pay tribute to the courage and bravery of the victim and her immediate family who have acted with huge dignity throughout. Through the victim’s powerful testimony, the jury were left in no doubt and now a predatory sex offender is behind bars.
“Cases of this nature are both disturbing and upsetting and I want to reassure the public, there is no place for an offender to hide no matter who they are. In this case it was a serving police officer who now faces the custodial consequences of his appalling actions.”
DC Mark Williamson, who is also based within CAISU and is the officer in the case added: “Ford has shown no remorse for his actions and it’s a credit to the victim that the jury saw beyond his lies. I would encourage victims of child abuse to reach out to police or support agencies to get the help and support they need, no matter when the offence occurred. Ford faces a significant prison sentence for his crimes which I hope gives a sense of justice to the victim and their family.”
Hertfordshire Assistant Chief Constable Genna Telfer explained: “James Ford took advantage of a vulnerable victim in the most appalling way and his behaviour will have devastated those involved. Thankfully due to the bravery of the victim and the due diligence of the officers investigating, he will now serve time in prison which is where he belongs. I am disgusted by his actions and he will face a fast track hearing for dismissal.”