A child protection police officer has been found guilty of grooming a 15-year-old girl he met during an investigation.
A child protection police officer has been found guilty of grooming a 15-year-old girl he met during an investigation.

Child protection cop found guilty of grooming

A Brisbane child protection police officer has been found guilty of grooming a 15-year-old girl he met during an investigation.

Matthew Paul Hockley, 33, was a serving senior constable at the Inala child protection and investigation unit when he sent a series of sexualised messages to the teenager through Snapchat including telling her she was a "professional at taking nude photographs".

The senior constable faced trial in the Brisbane District Court after pleading not guilty to grooming a child under 16 to procure engagement in a sexual act, grooming a child under 16 with intent to expose to indecent matter and one count of using the internet to procure a child under 16.

After six hours of deliberation, a jury acquitted Hockley this afternoon on the charge of grooming with intent to expose to indecent matter, but found him guilty on the two other charges.

During the trial, crown prosecutor Judy Geary told the court that Hockley and the girl exchanged more than 1000 messages after he interviewed her about nude photographs that had circulated at her school.

Ms Geary told the court Hockley had a sexual encounter with the girl's mother at the time and messaged the teenager about that too.

The court was told that in the messages, sent between July and August 2019, Hockley discussed his attraction to "girls calling guys 'Daddy' during sex" and saying the girl's "a-- should be worshipped".

"He also mentioned she was a professional at taking nude photographs, called her cute and... said 'Hello Beautiful'," Ms Geary said.

The court heard that the girl used her mother's iPad to take screenshots of three Snapchat conversations on her phone so as not to alert Hockley, but there was no photographic evidence of the other messages.

Barrister Matt Black said Hockley had not denied speaking with the girl but said it was for the prosecution to prove the content of the disputed messages.

"The prosecution also says that Mr Hockley sent a number of other messages, quite shocking ones, but there's no photos of those, no screenshots," barrister Matt Black told the jury.

Judge Bernard Porter adjourned the sentence until Friday and granted Hockley bail.

Originally published as Child protection cop found guilty of grooming



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