Wigan police officer faces jail after admitting child sex offences

A police officer has been warned he could face jail after he admitted seven offences, including arranging the commission of a child sex offence.

Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 11:19 am
Updated Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 2:49 pm

Lee Cunliffe, 40, entered guilty pleas at a hearing at Liverpool Crown Court on Tuesday.

The Greater Manchester Police (GMP) detective constable admitted arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sexual offence.

The court heard that in September last year he arranged to engage in sexual activity with a child.

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The Greater Manchester Police (GMP) detective constable admitted arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sexual offence.

He also admitted perverting the course of justice by making two entries on police crime reports to say nothing of relevance had been found on devices belonging to a suspect.

He pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent photos of a child, relating to 155 Category A photos, 14 Category B photos and 58 Category C photos.

The officer, of Hindley Green, Wigan, also pleaded guilty to distributing indecent photos of a child and misconduct in a public office, by failing to properly investigate a criminal case,

He pleaded not guilty to the possession of 227 indecent photos of children, attempting to cause or incite the sexual exploitation of a child under 13 and a misconduct in public office charge which alleged he committed offences while on duty.

Arthur Gibson, prosecuting, said the pleas were acceptable to the Crown and he would ask for the counts which Cunliffe denied to be left on file.

Julian King, defending, asked for sentencing to be adjourned so a psychological report could be prepared.

He said personal notes seized as part of the investigation showed the defendant’s “inner turmoil”.

Honorary Recorder of Liverpool Judge Andrew Menary QC adjourned the sentence until January 12 and released Cunliffe on conditional bail.

He said: “You must attend on the next occasion in the full expectation there may be a custodial sentence for these matters.”

Greater Manchester Police said Cunliffe was arrested on December 15 last year and has been suspended from duty since then.