Published: 10:43, 03 May 2021
| Updated: 10:54, 03 May 2021
A former police constable who sent sexual messages to a teenage girl has been jailed.
At the Old Bailey on Friday, Mark Collins, 58, who worked at the Met’s South Area Command Unit in Bromley, was sentenced to two years and four months’ imprisonment for a number of sex offences involving children.
On Wednesday, January 27 at Westminster Magistrates' Court, he pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to cause a girl aged between 13 and 15 to engage in sexual activity on November 24, 2019.
He also pleaded guilty to six counts of attempting to engage in sexual communications with a child between November 4 and 26 the same year.
The court heard how Collins used personal devices to commit the offences, some of which were carried out while he was on duty, but not as a police officer.
Following his arrest on November 26, 2019, he was immediately suspended from duty and was charged on November 9 last year.
Collins retired from the Met in February of that year.
A special case hearing was held on April 21 and found that PC Collins’ actions amounted to gross misconduct and that had he still been a serving officer he would have been dismissed.
Commander Paul Betts, Directorate of Professional Standards, said: “These are absolutely abhorrent crimes and it is utterly shocking that a police officer could have committed them.
“It is clear this type of conduct has no place within the organisation and we are committed to bringing the perpetrators of such terrible crimes to justice, whoever they may be.”