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Police Constable Lewis Edwards used Snapchat to groom girls into sharing explicit images

Lewis Edwards

200 girls were groomed by serving Police Officer, Lewis Edwards, and then blackmailed into carrying out sexual acts, Cardiff Crown Court heard on Monday.

Lewis Edwards, at the age of 24, used counterfeit profiles to initiate communication with girls ranging from 10 to 16 years old.

He declined to attend his sentencing at Cardiff Crown Court on the following Monday.

Earlier, the court had been informed that he was found in possession of over 4,500 indecent images of children, with more than 700 falling into the most severe category.

After a misconduct hearing conducted earlier this year, Mr. Edwards was placed on the barred list, preventing any possibility of his return to the police force.

In court, Prosecutor Roger Griffiths disclosed that Edwards, residing in Cefn Glas, Bridgend, had been in contact with a total of 210 girls, and images of 207 of them were discovered on his numerous devices.

These transgressions encompassed a total of 160 charges, to which he entered a guilty plea.

Edwards became a police constable with South Wales Police in January 2021, and nearly all the girls were approached by him after this date.

These offenses occurred between November 2020 and February 2023 when he was apprehended at his residence. Edwards employed a profile picture of a teenage boy to deceive his victims into sharing explicit images.

One victim mentioned that during video calls, Edwards would obscure his identity by sitting in the dark, revealing only a portion of his face.

One of the victims said in court that “You are supposed to be able to trust the police, [but] the police did this to me.”

The sentencing, which is expected to last three days, continues.