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Thames Valley Police missed FIVE opportunities to catch paedophile officer who this month was jailed for over six years for sexually assaulting 13-year-old girl, damning inspection finds


  • The police force knew Luke Horner had pestered a girl of 15 for naked pictures 
  • Report finds Thames Valley Police should have made further inquiries  

A police force missed five opportunities to catch a paedophile officer who they knew had pestered a 15-year-old girl for naked pictures, a damning inspection has found.

Thames Valley Police should have made further inquiries into previous allegations of sexual assault made against Luke Horner, His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) found, before he went on to sexually abuse a 13 year old.

The inspectorate discovered that the force’s counter-corruption unit made just one attempt to contact the Crimestoppers tipster who first reported Horner for begging a schoolgirl for nude photos.

Cannabis had been found in the officer’s work tray, he had taken evidence home in his bag and while under investigation for other matters had pointed his Taser at a colleague, the watchdog found.

HMICFRS concluded that the force could not have anticipated Horner would commit sexual offences against a child, but found at least five opportunities to take stricter action against him had been lost.

Former Pc Luke Christopher Horner travelled to Rushden, Northamptonshire to attack the 13-year-old on June 11

Former Pc Luke Christopher Horner travelled to Rushden, Northamptonshire to attack the 13-year-old on June 11

Horner, 24, travelled for more than an hour from his home to Rushden, Northamptonshire, to see the 13-year-old girl he had met on social media. 

He then recorded himself on the girl’s phone sexually assaulting her on June 11.

The girl’s horrified mother later found the footage and called police.

Horner, of Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, was immediately suspended from duty by TVP and resigned in July.

He admitted penetrative sexual activity with a child at Northampton Crown Court and was jailed for six years and four months earlier this month.

Sentencing Horner, His Honour Judge David Herbert KC told Horner he had undermined the public’s confidence in the police.

‘This offending is disgraceful for any man but further to that you were a serving police officer,’ he said.

‘When you became a police officer you would have taken an oath to act with integrity and protect the public.

‘You have failed, and undermined the public’s confidence in the police.’

His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services found Thames Valley Police missed five opportunities to take stricter action against the paedophile officer (Pictured: The force's headquarters in Kidlington, Oxfordshire)

His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services found Thames Valley Police missed five opportunities to take stricter action against the paedophile officer (Pictured: The force’s headquarters in Kidlington, Oxfordshire)

Horner admitted penetrative sexual activity with a child and was sentenced earlier this month at Northampton Crown Court (pictured) to six years and four months behind bars

Horner admitted penetrative sexual activity with a child and was sentenced earlier this month at Northampton Crown Court (pictured) to six years and four months behind bars 

The HMICFRS report found that while vetting Horner, TVP should have further investigated a sexual assault allegation made in 2016 and why he left the British Army early.

And during his police service, the force failed to identify concerns over his honesty and integrity following several issues that ‘clearly indicated that Horner was not suited to being a police officer,’ the report found.

His Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary Roy Wilsher said: ‘Having robust vetting processes is vital for forces in being able to identify any misconduct, dismiss officers and staff if they are not fit for the job and prevent unsuitable officers joining in the first place.

‘It is very clear, particularly when considered alongside other incidents which took place during his police service, Pc Horner was not suited to being a police officer.’



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