Special constable caged for sexually abusing Wigan teenager
A former special police constable who abused a Wigan schoolgirl he groomed on social media has been jailed for four years and nine months.
Stephen Godridge was sentenced at Preston Crown Court after pleading guilty to two counts of engaging in sexual activity with a child.
The investigation into the 26-year-old’s offending found that he would befriend teenage girls on Snapchat and incite them to engage in sexual acts.
He would make efforts to meet up with them and when he did, he would sexually abuse the girls.
The charges Godridge has pleaded to relate to two victims, who were aged 15 years and one of whom lived in Wigan.
Godridge, of Masefield Drive, Farnworth, previously served as a Special Constable with Greater Manchester Police and was suspended from duty after being arrested in October 2016.
He has since resigned from the force; however none of the offences were committed while he was on-duty and they are not related to his role.
Det Insp Neil Lawless, of GMP’s Wigan district, said: “Godridge is a depraved individual who targeted teenage girls on social media before encouraging them to engage in sexual acts.
“My thoughts today are very much with his victims and I would like to commend their bravery and courage in coming forward and assisting the police during the investigation, which has ultimately led to Godridge receiving a significant sentence.
“I hope this result will send a clear message about how seriously we take reports of this nature and how committed we are to bringing predators like him to justice.
“This case highlights the potential dangers modern-day social networking sites can pose and we are encouraging parents to have open conversations with their children about these risks and how to keep safe online.
“However, if anyone takes one thing from this story, please let it be that there is help and support available and people who will listen.”
For information on protecting children from Child Sexual Exploitation and how to seek support or report concerns visit www.itsnotokay.co.uk