Det Con Francois Olwage, 52, from Stevenage in Hertfordshire, tried to meet who he thought was a 13-year-old girl for sex while on duty in October.
Olwage, a counter-terrorism officer, was suspended from duty and faces a police misconduct hearing on 31 May.
Having been convicted of sexual communication with a child and attempting to cause/incite a girl aged 13 to engage in sexual activity. Also found guilty of attempting to meet a girl under the age of 16 following grooming and of abusing his position as a police officer.
A judge said he had shown “disregard for the public trust and confidence that is held in your office”.
During his trial, Winchester Crown Court heard Olwage was having explicit sexual conversations with the “girl”, who had the username Smile Bear, before suggesting they meet in what the undercover officer had said was her hometown of Basingstoke, Hampshire. He was arrested on the way after stopping at a McDonalds.
Olwage told the court that he “never believed” Smile Bear was a 13-year-old girl and that he thought it was an adult “playing out a fantasy”. No actual children were in danger.
Defence barrister, Adrienne Knight, said that Olwage, who had served with the Met for nine years and with Hertfordshire Constabulary for seven years, had submitted a letter expressing his “sorrow for what he had done”.
“There can be no doubt he was trying to find a relationship, trying to find love,” she said.
“He wasn’t looking for a 13-year-old but stumbled across it because of the way the police have encroached on these websites.
“This isn’t entrapment, but this was very close indeed.”
Senior crown prosecutor Marc Thompson said “On the day he planned to meet with his victim, he abandoned his police duties to pursue sexual gratification from someone he believed to be a child,”
At the start of the trial Olwage admitted an offence of improperly exercising his police powers and privileges in order to receive the “benefit of sexual gratification”.
Decoys duped men during pandemic lockdown. They could not give it a rest, yet ego maniac vigilantes reaped what they could. Dating sites are known for potential kinky behaviour which often involves various forms of role play.
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