April 2009

Michael Conlon: Paedophile PC caught in police internet trap

A policeman from Swillington, exposed as a paedophile by a colleague posing as a 14-year-old girl in an internet chat room, has been jailed.

Michael Conlon, 33, believed he was grooming a schoolgirl for sex, Leeds Crown Court heard.

But the Killingbeck-based police constable had been sending sick messages and abusing himself, as a female officer from the Metropolitan Police watched via a webcam.

Conlon contacted her ‘Shelley 14’ profile on chat website FaceParty numerous times over six months from last February.

He called himself ‘Wingnut79’ and ‘Man in uniform69.’

Conlon asked if she was a virgin and said he wanted her phone number and naked pictures after she told him she was aged 14.

He also groomed on the internet and arranged to meet a genuine 15-year-old girl he wanted to have sex with.

Conlon turned up for the meeting in Knaresborough but she didn’t.

Prosecutor, Kevin Jones said: “He told her he was a police officer and it was that information that made her feel safe in having contact with him.”

When police raided the home he shared with his partner in Primrose Hill

Drive, Swillington, last August they found 370 depraved pictures and videos.

The images of girls as young as five being abused had been downloaded to his computer over a three-year-period.

Paul Greaney for Conlon said: “This defendant has ruined his life. He has lost his career as a police officer.”

Jailing Conlon for two-and -a-half years, The Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier QC told him: “It’s aggravated because you used the fact you were a police officer to build some measure of trust.”

Conlon, who served five years with West Yorkshire Police, had admitted charges of making and possessing indecent images; attempting to engage in sexual activity with a child and arranging to meet a child after grooming.

His name will be on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.