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Lee Cunliffe

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Who is Lee Cunliffe?

A police officer who was caught trying to organize the abuse of an eight-year-old girl and accessed indecent images of a vulnerable teenager was jailed.

Detective Con Lee Cunliffe admitted to seven crimes, including organizing the commission of a child s*x crime.

The 40-year-old Greater Manchester Police (GMP) officer has been suspended from duty since his arrest in 2020.

Cunliffe, from Wigan, was imprisoned in Liverpool Crown Court for eight years and four months.

The court heard that Cunliffe had been an officer on duty for 17 years when, in September 2020, he began texting a woman he believed was the mother of the eight-year-old girl on the instant messaging app Kik.

Prosecutor Arthur Gibson said that Cunliffe told the woman, that she was actually an undercover agent for the Metropolitan Police, that she would visit London to s*xually abuse her daughter.

investigations

Police investigations revealed that Cunliffe had sent the messages from various devices, including a police-owned computer at the Swinton Police Station, and was arrested in October 2020.

Gibson said the girl had alleged that her boyfriend had taken indecent images of her and distributed them without her knowledge.

Cunliffe, a CID trainee, was assigned to the case and the suspect was arrested and his computer and phone were seized.

He later wrote a crime log entry stating that there was nothing on either device related to the crime, the court was told.

Gibson said: “In fact, both devices contained indecent images of children both still and in motion, with a total of 227 accessible.”

The computer was returned to the suspect with the indecent images still on and no further action was taken.

Judge Menary said:

Judge Menary said: “What he did in relation to this girl and this case is shocking and hits the heart of that foundation of trust that the public has invested in police service.”

Judge Menary noted that the child he tried to get for s*x was not real, but continued: “It is clear to me that the opportunity for that, if it had arisen, then you would have taken it.”

He continued: “Some of those conversations happened while he was on duty and while he was playing his role as a police officer. The fact is that the behavior he was witnessing with a very young child could hardly have been more serious .. ”

Cunliffe, dressed in a suit and tie, showed no emotion when he received a jail sentence of eight years and four months. No member of his family was in court.

He was also ordered to sign the s*x offender registry for life and was the subject of a ten year s*xual harm prevention order.

He admitted to perverting the course of justice, three counts of possession of indecent images of children, one count of distributing indecent images of children, one count of misconduct in public office, and one count of facilitating the commission of a child s*xual offense.

Earlier, his attorney Julian King told the court: “It extends through me his regret, grief and remorse regarding the harm caused by his actions.”

He told the court that his client had seen a psychotherapist who had diagnosed her with “compulsive s*xual behavior disorder.”

Cunliffe suffered from anxiety, panic attacks and insomnia, the court was told.

King referred to “childhood problems,” but these were not detailed in court.

After the hearing, Deputy Chief of Police Terry Woods said: “Cunliffe’s actions were absolutely unforgivable and have undermined the very core of the police’s core value of protecting the public and helping those in need.”

“We expect our officers and staff to uphold the highest standards and Cunliffe’s deplorable behavior fell far short of what was expected of him: he abused his position in GMP and tried to act out of his own s*xual gratification.

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Quicks and Facts

  • Lee Cunliffe spoke to undercover cop on app using name ‘Steve S mancgent1’
  • Married father was speaking to woman he believed was mother of eight-year-old
  • Probe found he had sent some messages from IP address of police station
  • His laptop also contained indecent images of a ‘plainly vulnerable’ teenage girl
  • Cunliffe was jailed for eight years and four months at Liverpool Crown Court
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