Met Police officer who sent ‘frankly repulsive’ pornographic image to colleague jailed

Pc Liam Boshein admitted possessing an extreme pornographic image on his phone (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Archive)
Pc Liam Boshein admitted possessing an extreme pornographic image on his phone (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Archive)

A former Metropolitan Police officer who sent a “frankly repulsive” pornographic image to a colleague while serving on the force has been jailed.

Former PC Liam Boshein admitted possessing an extreme pornographic image on his phone and has been sentenced to 42 weeks in prison.

A judge told Boshein , who was attached to the South Area Command Unit, covering Croydon , Bromley and Sutton, the offence was "too serious" to avoid a jail term.

The 25-year-old, of Portsmouth, Hampshire, appeared at Portsmouth Crown Court on Friday after pleading guilty last month to committing the offence between November 7 2019 and April 4 2021.

Boshein had been a trainee Met officer for three months when he forwarded an image to a colleague on WhatsApp which judge Mousley ruled was "grossly offensive".

The judge said "a sentence of imprisonment is unavoidable", adding: "You were a serving police officer and that of course is a very serious aggravating feature.

"You pleaded guilty at the pre-trial preparation hearing and I will give you appropriate credit for that."

Boshein's defence barrister, Ryan Dowding, argued he should not be jailed because he gained "no sexual gratification" from the image and it was sent privately between two friends.

Mr Dowding added it was the only image out of 296,000 found on Boshein's devices that was pornographic and that time in prison would further damage his "fragile" mental health.

Prosecutor Tim Devlin said the "appalling" nature of the image and Boshein's position as a police officer justified imprisonment.

He told the court: "One has to look at this case in the context of what has been going on in the police force and the culture which appears to have arisen where people think it is acceptable as officers to share this sort of information."

Judge Timothy Mousley KC accepted Boshein's guilty plea, remorse, good character references, immaturity at the time of the offence and mental issues since then all justified a lesser sentence.

But he ruled imprisonment was necessary because he was a police officer and the pornographic image was extreme. "This offence is too serious for a non-custodial sentence," he said.

A Met Police spokesperson said after his conviction, an accelerated misconduct hearing took place where the allegations against him were proven to have breached the standards of professional behaviours of discreditable conduct at a level of gross misconduct.

Former PC Boshein would have been dismissed without notice had he still been serving. He resigned three days before the hearing on Monday, 6 March.

Ruth Sands, Wessex senior crown prosecutor, said after the sentencing: "The image found on Liam Boshein's phone was frankly repulsive and certainly not something that the public would expect a police officer to have in his possession.

"The public rightly expects police officers to act with integrity and to uphold the law to keep our communities safe.

"We will continue to prosecute anyone who commits a criminal offence whenever our legal test is met."

Chief Superintendent Andy Brittain, who is in charge of policing for the South Area, said: “Boshein’s actions fell far short of the standards we demand from our police officers and it is right that he admitted to this abhorrent offence, which he committed while he was a serving officer, and has now faced the consequences of his actions through both the court and the Met’s misconduct processes.

“We took immediate action to suspend Boshein from duty when his offending came to light and a misconduct hearing was held at the earliest opportunity.

“His conviction further damages the trust with the public that the vast majority of police officers work so tirelessly every day to maintain. We are determined to have a Met that the public can trust, with officers that people feel confident to approach. When someone fails to meet these standards, we will take action to remove them from our organisation.”