Jury hears police officer used cadet training scheme as ‘grooming playground’

Screenshot 2023-03-28 at 11.03.53

A jury at Liverpool Crown Court has heard that PC Mohammed Adnan Ali, 36, of Greater Manchester Police used the a force training scheme as ‘a grooming playground’ via which he sexually assaulted teenaged children.

There was little or no senior officer oversight as PC Ali (pictured above) ran the Trafford District volunteer police cadet scheme for children between the ages of 13 and 17. The scheme, which won local and national awards under his leadership, should have had a capacity of 30 cadets, but at the time of his arrest in October 2018, this had grown to 130 members, the court heard.

PC Ali denies 20 charges, which include sexual assault of two girls and a boy between 2015 and 2018, as well as sexualised conversations with boys in which he both sent and requested indecent images. He is also accused of 15 counts of misconduct in a public office.

PC Ali was first arrested in October 2018 on suspicion of police corruption following a report he had abused his position for a sexual purpose.

The allegation was investigated by Greater Manchester Police’s Major Incident Team (MIT) under the direction and control of the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC).

He was arrested for a second time on November 2018, again on suspicion of police corruption, and a third time in March 2019 on suspicion of sexual assault, misconduct in a public office and distributing an indecent image.

Leading counsel for the Crown Prosecution Service, Anne Whyte KC, opened the trial by submitting:

“Due to his own behaviour and GMP’s failure to monitor it, the Trafford cadet scheme became something of a grooming playground for Adnan Ali.

“The increased numbers of cadets no doubt increased his opportunities to flirt, to test the waters and to act inappropriately with young people whose welfare he was required to safeguard.

“Perhaps his own head was turned by his earlier success as an officer and by his popularity as a cadet leader. All of this, coupled with his unrestrained sexual appetites and his over-familiarity, was a recipe for misconduct and abuse.”

The jury also heard how PC Ali was also alleged to have used social media accounts to engage in sexualised conversation: In chats with some of his alleged victims he ended messages with kisses and would mention being in the bath and in bed. He massaged the shoulders of a 17-year-old male cadet, hugged him and asked if he would ever consider having sex with a “boy”.

Ms Whyte KC said: “He stood in a position of trust over them and was a leader of a unit which was supposed to promote policing values to young people, some of whom came from challenging backgrounds.”

Adding: “Instead, he tried to befriend and then to groom them sexually, knowing that they would find it difficult to report him due to the imbalance of power and age, and their perception that he could influence their careers.”

PC Ali was bailed, with conditions, including a limitation on contact with anyone under the age of 18, by Liverpool Magistrates’ Court in October, 2021.

Proceedings are ongoing.

Greater Manchester Police say their cadet scheme is aimed at 13 to 17-year-olds and offers ‘a programme of weekly cadet nights filled with activity, information and – hopefully – some fun. We also aim to promote an interest in policing among young people’.

Page last updated Tuesday 28th March, 2023 at 1040hrs

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Picture credits: GMP

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Published by Neil Wilby

Former Johnston Press area managing director. Justice campaigner. Freelance investigative journalist.

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