Policeman who raped girl (13) had been suspected of grooming before he joined force
A paedophile British police officer who raped a teenage girl was named as a suspect in three cases before he was appointed to the force, it has emerged.
Ian Naude (30) was a serving constable when he was arrested in November 2017 following a report of the rape and sexual assault of the 13-year-old, who he met after being called to a domestic incident at her house.
The father-of-one, who groomed teenage girls online, had been due to join Cheshire Police as a student officer in January 2017.
The force said the recruitment process was put on hold following an allegation he had raped a woman.
But when no further action was taken in the case, a decision was made by the vetting department to allow the process to continue and Naude was appointed to the force in April that year.
When police began to investigate Naude following his arrest, they found he had also been a named suspect in two child grooming allegations which were reported to Staffordshire Police and West Mercia Police in January and February 2017.
Those two reports became part of the Cheshire investigation, which saw Naude plead guilty to 30 charges, including inciting children to engage in sexual activity and making indecent photos of children. He was found guilty of rape, sexual assault and five offences relating to arranging the commission of a child sexual offence.
An investigation by the Independent Office of Police Conduct into the vetting process and employment of Naude found there was no case to answer for misconduct for any individual officer.
Cheshire's acting chief constable Janette McCormick, who has personally apologised to the family of the rape victim, said the case had prompted a lot of "soul searching" among officers.
She said: "He didn't join to be a police officer, he joined as a predator."
A jury at Liverpool Crown Court found Naude guilty of rape and sexual assault, as well as four charges of attempting to arrange the commission of a child sex offence and one charge of arranging a child sex offence, relating to five complainants aged between 12 and 15.
He was described during the two-week trial as a "selfish and cruel paedophile".
Naude will be sentenced on December 13.