Met Police detective, 58, who sent sexually explicit texts and photos to ’13-year-old girl’ is jailed for two years after being caught in undercover sting

  • Mark Collins sent explicit messages to a person he believed was 13-year-old girl
  • In texts, 58-year-old Collins called the girl a ‘lovely young woman’ and ‘yummy’
  • He sent graphic pictures of himself to girl who was actually undercover officer
  • Collins admitted one count of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity and six of attempting to engage in sexual communications with a child
  • He was jailed for two years and four months in prison at the Old Bailey on Friday 

Former Met Police officer Mark Collins has been jailed for two years and four months after admitting a string of child sex offences

A police officer who once worked in child abuse investigations was jailed for over two years today for sending explicit photographs of himself to a person he believed to be a 13-year-old girl.

Mark Collins told the ‘teenager’ she was ‘very attractive’ and asked if she had any sexual urges after contacting her via the message service Kik.

Collins, who joined the force in 1991, urged her to delete the sexual photographs and any messages between them so that her mother wouldn’t see them.

He also incited her to engage in sexual activity by performing a sex act on herself.

Collins called her a ‘lovely young woman’ and ‘yummy’ and sent her pictures of his penis, not knowing the recipient was an undercover officer.

Collins, 58, admitted one count of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity and six counts of attempting to engage in sexual communications with a child. 

He retired in February after 29 years of service before he could be fired and lose his pension.

The Old Bailey heard that Collins’ messages had alternated between ‘fatherly compassion’ and instructions on how to perform sex acts.

He told the girl he was an insurance investigator and asked her whether she had ‘naughty urges’ and whether she ‘played with herself’.

Collins, wearing a red and blue tie over a light blue shirt bowed his head in shame as The Recorder of London, Judge Mark Lucraft, told him he would be going to jail.

Judge Lucraft said: ‘I make clear you, in fact, pleaded guilty to all matters and you will receive full credit for your pleas of guilty.

‘It is clear that many of the messages you sent were explicit, setting out what you were imagining.

During his sentencing hearing at the Old Bailey (pictured), the court heard Collins sent explicit messages to a person he thought was a 13-year-old girl but was an undercover police officer

‘Some of the images you provided are very concerning. There are repeated warnings to delete the emails.

‘The exchanges show that you attempted to incite a girl to engage in [sex acts].

‘The attempted incitement is the most serious of the offending here.’

Judge Lucraft said Collins’ messages were ‘highly sexual’ adding that the seriousness of his behaviour was categorised by the ‘grooming and disparity of age.’

Earlier David Povall told the court: ‘Between 4th November and 25th November 2019 this defendant, who at the time was a serving police officer, engaged in sexual communication with a person he believed to be a 13-year-old girl.

‘The charges relate to online conversations using the Kik application on six separate dates.’

Mr Povall said the decoy told Collins she was 13-years-old and he replied ‘you look lovely’.

He continued: ‘There was discussion of her movements, his movements, how she was getting on at school.

Met officer Mark Collins, who admitted trying to groom a 13-year-old girl, was found guilty of gross misconduct after he had quit the force and a panel found he would have been sacked

‘There was a discussion as to the possibility of their meeting but it was never more than an idea floated and there was some talk about where that might happen.

‘Conversations began when the defendant approached the decoy saying “hello you look like a lovely lady we should chat sometime”.

Mr Povall said Collins sent the decoy a ‘series of photographs of his penis’ while on holiday in Malta November 19.

He added: ‘The defendant asked that she should be careful to delete the conversation.’

Collins then went on to give ‘detailed instructions on how to [perform a sex act]’ on November 24, two days before his arrest.

Mr Povall said: ‘Having discussed her sexual excitement he then goes on to give instructions, or advise as to how she should [perform a sex act].

‘The decoy is pretending that she is going along with his suggestions and indeed doing as he is suggesting throughout the course of the conversation.’

Collins told the decoy the following day: ‘It is a shame your mum came back early’ after the decoy ended the previous conversation by saying that her mother had returned home.

The officer was arrested at work on November 26, 2019, and said nothing during a police interview.

Karen Robinson, defending said: ‘This is a case where there was no physical contact or conversation with a real child, no actual harm was caused by the offending behaviour, and secondly, no actual harm could have been caused as the recipient in this case was an undercover officer.’

She described the offending as a ‘spectacular fall from grace’ but argued Collins did not use his position as a police officer to incite sexual activity.

‘It was in reality, offending as Mark Collins not as Police Constable Mark Collins,’ said Ms Robinson.

‘He had not sought to use his position to persuade the recipient in these messages to take a particular course of action.

‘Whilst it is part of the background in this case it is not a factor to aggravate it.

‘He didn’t present to have an age younger than his own, he told the truth.

‘We invite the court to find in Mark Collins case his recourse is deep-felt and genuine.’ 

Collins, of Fleet, Hampshire, admitted six charges of attempting to communicate with a person for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification and one of causing a child aged between 13 and 15 to engage in sexual penetrative activity, between 4 November 2019 and 25 November 2019.

He was sentenced to two years and four months imprisonment and made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for ten years.

Upon release, Collins will have to notify police of his whereabouts for ten years.

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