Police officer bought porn using grieving family's cable TV account while standing guard outside home after death of child

Colin Drury

A police officer has admitted fraud after he bought pornography using a grieving family’s cable TV account while he was alone at their home, following the death of their child.

Avi Maharaj had been left at the house in south London to wait for an undertaker when he accessed the pornography channels.

The 44-year-old, who serves with the Metropolitan Police, pleaded guilty to the crime at Westminster Magistrates Court on Tuesday, and will be sentenced next month.

Maharaj, who is based in Earlsfield, was on duty following a child’s death at the property in February 2018, the hearing heard.

But, when the family trusted him to stay there while they had to go out, he spent £25.96 accessing the adult channels.

His actions only came to light when the homeowner questioned the bill, and realised the officer was the only person in the house at the time of the purchase.

An investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct later found Maharaj may also have falsified his attendance log in an attempt to cover his actions.

Sal Naseem, regional director of the IOPC, said: “PC Maharaj’s behaviour was shocking and even more so given he was guarding the property in the absence of the homeowner.

“Not only were his actions deceitful but he caused considerable distress for the family involved who were dealing with the sudden death of a family member.

“Our investigation showed that PC Maharaj was the only person in the property who could have downloaded access to pornographic channels at the time the account was accessed.

“He has admitted his guilt under the weight of compelling evidence. I am sorry that the family involved had to deal with this while also coping with the tragic loss of their child.”

The officer has also been told he will have to answer a case of gross misconduct brought by Scotland Yard with a hearing set to be scheduled after his criminal sentencing.