MPS officer 'took condoms and lubricant' to meeting with 13-year-old
A Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) counter-terrorism officer packed two condoms, a bottle of lubricant and pills for erectile disfunction in his bag when he attempted to meet a 13-year-old girl for sex, a court has heard.
Francois Olwage, a detective constable who was serving with the MPS’s specialist operations unit, is accused of grooming what he believed to be a 13-year-old girl he had met on the Lycos online chat forum.
But Winchester Crown Court has heard that the 52-year-old defendant was actually chatting with an undercover police officer pretending to be the girl using the username of Smile Bear and the name Caitlin on Whatsapp.
The trial has heard that after two weeks of explicit sexual conversations in October 2021, Olwage, of Stevenage, Hertfordshire, arranged to meet the ‘girl’ who had told him that she lived in Basingstoke, Hampshire.
Peter Shaw, prosecuting, told the court that Olwage travelled by train to meet the ‘girl’ in a park in Basingstoke after going to McDonald’s.
He said that the defendant was arrested in the fast food restaurant by two undercover police officers. When searched, the officers found in his bag two condoms, a bottle of lubricant and a packet of Tadalafil erectile dysfunction tablets.
There was also a box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates which Mr Shaw suggested was a present for the ‘girl’.
Mr Shaw said that Olwage did not answer questions when interviewed by police but gave a statement saying that “he never believed that Smile Bear was a 13-year-old girl”.
He continued: “Instead he believed it was an adult female living out a fantasy as a 13-year-old. He found the fantasy that that person was purporting to run was of intellectual interest to him and therefore he went along with it, he played along never believing the other person to be a 13-year-old girl.”
He added that the defendant “denied having a sexual interest in children and denied the meeting would involve sexual activity”.
Mr Shaw also said that Olwage had sent a message ahead of the meeting to the ‘girl’ stating: “Because of your age, things can go very wrong for us, I could be breaking the law, lose my job, social services be called. I do not want any of that for us so we can’t meet tomorrow for anything sexual so it can only be about us meeting to chat and spending time together.”
Giving evidence to the trial, the undercover officer who posed as Smile Bear, who can only be identified as Max, said he had stated the girl was aged 13 and the defendant had replied: “Are you OK chatting with me, I could be your dad?”
Olwage denies engaging in sexual communication with a child and attempting to cause/incite a girl aged 13 to engage in sexual activity, arranging/facilitating the commission of a child sex offence and meeting a girl under the age of 16 following grooming.
The trial continues.