Married police inspector, 51, tried to meet young girls for sex and kept indecent images

·Freelance Writer
·2-min read
John Nichols trawled chat rooms for potential victims, telling one user he wanted to meet his daughters for sex. (SWNS)
John Nichols trawled chat rooms for potential victims, telling one user he wanted to meet his daughters for sex. (SWNS)

A married police inspector has been jailed after he was found to have kept indecent images of children and tried to meet young girls for sex online.

John Nichols, 51, trawled chat rooms for potential victims, telling one user he wanted to meet his daughters for sex, while writing in a conversation with another user that he liked “yng girls”.

He also suggested to the man who said he had two daughters that he would like to meet them for sex, and asked for the pair to be wearing Hello Kitty underwear.

Nichols also sent pictures of his own genitalia, according to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Police discovered the sexually explicit and graphic conversations on chat rooms where he looked for "opportunities", the CPS said.

John Nichols was sentenced to 30 months in prison at Inner London Crown Court. (John Stillwell/PA/Getty)
John Nichols was sentenced to 30 months in prison at Inner London Crown Court. (John Stillwell/PA/Getty)

An undercover online investigation by the Met Police revealed Nichols, who served as an inspector with Bedfordshire Police, had 39 indecent images on his devices.

Nichols has now been sentenced to 30 months in prison at Inner London Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to one count of making indecent images of children and attempting to arrange the commission of a child sex offence at an earlier hearing.

Judge Jane Rowley also ordered Nichols, from Bedford, be given a 10-year sexual harm prevention order.

Louise Clissold, senior crown prosecutor at the CPS London North's Crown Court unit, said after the hearing: “As a serving police officer it is hugely concerning that such sexually explicit messaging and indecent images of children were found on John Nichols’ phone.

“Although no sexual activity is known to have taken place, Nichols’ actions were vile and a grave abuse of trust.

“Sexual offences against children are abhorrent and the CPS is committed to prosecuting all offenders.”

John Nichols Nichols retired from the force before his first appearance at Westminster Magistrates Court last month. (SWNS)
John Nichols Nichols retired from the force before his first appearance at Westminster Magistrates Court last month. (SWNS)

Nichols was removed from all police duties as soon as the allegations came to light, and then retired from the force before his first court appearance last month.

Assistant chief constable Sharn Basra apologised for the defendant's crimes and described them as “vile".

He added: “As a senior leader in policing, nothing could disappoint me more than the thought of an officer, whose very role is to protect the vulnerable, committing such vile offences.

“We know the public’s trust in policing nationally has been damaged over recent years, this appalling case only serves to impact this further.

“For this I can only apologise and assure all our communities that the police service is fully committed to investigating and bringing to justice those who commit crime, whoever they may be.”

Basra confirmed that internal misconduct proceedings against Nichols are underway.