By Enyichukwu Enemanna
A Liverpool Crown Court UK on Wednesday found a detective constable of the Greater Manchester Police, Stephen Hardy, guilty of 20 offences, including six counts of rape, a Sky News report says.
He was therefore sentenced to 26 years for raping and sexually assaulting a teenage girl, whose identity wasn’t disclosed, an abuse that has permanently affected the victim’s mental health and left her scared for her future, the report added.
According to the victim, she was not sure she would ever be able to fully trust members of law enforcement.
“I maintain a deep fear of authority figures, despite overcoming that fear to report these crimes. His position in the Greater Manchester Police force has deeply affected me,” she stressed.
Delivering the judgment, Judge Robert Trevor-Jones said Hardy used his teenage victim as a “puppet or sex object.”
Trevor-Jones said, “You have never shown one iota of remorse for your behaviour.
“The indictment reflects a highly calculated and cynical course of grooming behaviour.”
He described the detective constable as having a “devious” personality with a “sinister streak.”
“You have been a long-serving police officer. That is a career that will now inevitably end,” the judge said.
Trevor-Jones lamented that, even though Hardy was aware of the trauma faced by rape victims, it was “aggravating” that he still proceeded with the unlawful act.
“You would have been well aware of the widespread and lasting trauma that victims of sexual abuse suffer and yet you gave no thought to that and that is an aggravating factor,” the judge lamented.
The prosecuting counsel, Vanessa Thomson, said the victim, who was in court with members of her family during the hearing, reported the abuse to police in 2020.
Thomson described the defendant (Hardy) as ”a controlling and manipulative man.”
Counsel to the defendant, Laura Nash, said Hardy continued to deny all the offences and that he would “inevitably” find his prison sentence “harder than most” because he was a police officer.
Following Hardy’s conviction in July, GMP said he was suspended from duty and would face disciplinary proceedings, Head of the force’s Professional Standards Branch, Detective Chief Superintendent Mike Allen stated.