Police officer quits after sending ’14-year-old boy’ Grindr messages: ‘Let’s see this skinny bod’

A South Wales policeman, PC Anthony French, sent messages on gay hookup app Grindr to an undercover police officer posing as a 14-year-old boy, reports the BBC.

The 47-year-old officer allegedly sent several messages over three hours and was arrested the following day, a misconduct hearing has heard.

The evidence was submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service, which decided not to pursue any criminal charges. However, a misconduct hearing found that French’s behaviour amounted to gross misconduct and he was banned from future policing.

PC French had already resigned from the force before the hearing was held. He claimed he hadn’t sent the messages, that his phone had undergone a factory reset in February and he had not used Grindr since then.

However, specialist police units had confirmed it was French using the iPhone at the time – and that he was the person sending messages via the Grindr app.

It was alleged that while messaging a ’14-year-old boy’, who was actually an undercover police officer acting under the name of Cai, PC French was simultaneously accessing a gay pornographic website.

PC French initially sent a message to ‘Cai’ saying “cute”, and the undercover officer replied, saying he was 14.

Referring to his Grindr pictures, PC French responded: “You don’t look 14… rugby buff, are you?”

The undercover officer replied: “Ha ha, a bit skinny”, to which PC French said: “Don’t look it. Let’s see this skinny bod?”

The misconduct hearing found PC Anthony French had breached the standards of professional behaviour and that he would have been sacked had he not already quit.

Delivering his judgement, Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan said: “Whilst the CPS considered that this did not meet a criminal threshold, it both met and significantly exceeded my threshold when setting the standards of behaviour within South Wales Police.”

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