Greater Manchester Police officer, 36, is facing jail after he used a volunteer cadet training scheme as a ‘grooming playground’ to sexually abuse a string of youngsters
- Pc Adnan Ali is facing lengthy prison sentence and loss of his police pension
- He was convicted of five counts of sexual assault against teenage cadets
A former hero policeman hailed as a role model and put in charge of teenage cadets after being injured tackling a crazed knifeman was today unmasked as a predator who abused a string of youngsters.
In the latest disturbing example of a police officer taking advantage of his trusted position to pursue his twisted sexual desires, Pc Adnan Ali instead used the award-winning unit as a ‘grooming playground’, a court heard.
The shamed 36-year-old was today facing a lengthy prison sentence and the loss of his police pension after being convicted of five counts of sexual assault against teenage cadets and 15 counts of misconduct in a public office over his sexualised messages.
Following his conviction, bosses at Greater Manchester Police issued a grovelling apology for what Ali’s trial was told was ‘inadequate oversight’ by senior officers which helped him get away with his predatory behaviour.
Branding Ali’s crimes ‘abhorrent’, Assistant Chief Constable Colin McFarlane admitted that ‘not enough was done’ to ‘supervise and oversee him’, adding: ‘For that I am truly sorry’.
In the latest disturbing example of a police officer taking advantage of his trusted position to pursue his twisted sexual desires, Pc Adnan Ali instead used the award-winning unit as a ‘grooming playground’, a court heard
The shamed 36-year-old was today facing a lengthy prison sentence and the loss of his police pension after being convicted of five counts of sexual assault against teenage cadets and 15 counts of misconduct in a public office over his sexualised messages
Following his conviction, bosses at Greater Manchester Police issued a grovelling apology for what Ali’s trial was told was ‘inadequate oversight’ by senior officers which helped him get away with his predatory behaviour
Mr McFarlane told MailOnline he was ‘very mindful that this comes on the back of other cases involving police officers’.
However he insisted: ‘Ali represents the very worst that there is in policing, but also a very tiny minority.
‘The vast majority of officers, like the public, will be horrified by what he’s done.’
The police chief insisted that changes to the popular uniformed cadet scheme – which aims to ‘encourage the spirit of adventure and good citizenship’ in young people – meant participants are now better protected.
However with more than 500 volunteer police cadet groups across Britain responsible for thousands of children as young as 13, it means questions are likely to be asked as to whether enough has been done to root out abusers.
Until his arrest, bisexual Ali – who insisted on being known as ‘Adz’ – had seemed the perfect role model.
The recipient of a bravery award after being left fearing he ‘wasn’t going to come out alive’ when he was stabbed in the head three times by a knife-wielding attacker, Ali was a natural on social media and happy to discuss his Muslim faith.
He was even pictured behind bars after being sponsored spending 24 hours in a police cell to raise money for a mental health charity as he spoke of the post-traumatic stress disorder the attack had triggered.
Mother of abused teenagers slams senior officers for failing to monitor his behaviour
by Richard Marsden
The mother of a teenager abused by police cadet leader Adnan Ali attacked commanders for being ‘happy to bask in reflected glory’ when he won awards – but then failing to monitor his behaviour.
She revealed her child, who spent three years in the police cadets, was left ‘traumatised’, while she has ‘lost all faith in everything to do with the police’.
The mother – who punched the air when told by the Mail about the 20 guilty verdicts – said Ali would even come around to the family home to have tea with her, then take her child to McDonald’s – which he also did with other cadets.
She recalled: ‘I felt safe around him. That’s how he made me feel – that he was looking out for us – (but) little did I know. It was grooming.’
The mother said: ‘Commanders were happy to bask in the reflected glory when his cadet unit won awards but they should have been monitoring whether he was behaving appropriately.
‘You wonder whether the top officers may not have kept a proper eye because Ali was a Muslim and they were worried they’d be called racist.
‘I find the whole thing absolutely disgusting because, at the end of the day, I thought my child was going to be safe.
‘I’ve lost all faith in everything to do with the police because I honestly thought it was the one place my child could have gone which would best for them, then this happens.’
The mother said her child, who is now grown-up, is still suffering from what happened.
‘It’s had a lasting effect on my child and been hugely traumatic,’ she said.
As for Ali, she added: ‘I feel he was targeting potentially vulnerable kids. I think the police have a problem with corruption… (certain officers) get into positions where they can then take advantage.
‘They feel the power given to them gives them the right to do what want, knowing full well they have a very low chance of being caught. I think that’s what Ali felt. He should have been stopped.’
Ali made regular photocalls alongside his chief constable, and accepted the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service on behalf of his force’s volunteer cadet scheme, where he led a thriving unit of 130 young people after being moved from frontline duties.
But behind the smooth exterior lay a dark secret – the serial grooming and sexual assault of a string of would-be officers, many of them from ‘vulnerable’ backgrounds, who were held in his thrall.
Confident of their silence – not least as he was on the interview panel for teenagers seeking to secure police apprenticeships – Ali abused his trusted position by groping them and sending them unsolicited X-rated pictures of himself.
Ali, who had the Superman logo emblazoned on his leader’s hoodie and underpants, often made late night inappropriate phone calls to some of the victims.
Others were sent photographs of him in the bath or on the toilet.
He even formed a relationship with another former cadet who later gave birth to his son.
Anne Whyte, KC, prosecuting, told Ali’s trial at Liverpool Crown Court that his behaviour – and the failure of police chiefs to monitor it – enabled him to turn the Trafford cadet scheme into ‘something of a grooming playground’.
She said the size of the unit – combined with his popularity – plus his ‘unrestrained sexual appetites and his over-familiarity’ were ‘a recipe for misconduct and abuse’.
‘He exploited the freedom he was given and the over-recruitment of cadets to commit sexual assaults and indulge in sexual and suggestive communications with young and vulnerable people who looked up to him, thinking he had influence over their advancement,’ she told the trial.
Targeting both boys and girls, Ali sent ‘grossly inappropriate’ messages to youngsters ‘designed for his own sexual gratification, usually in the hope that they would advance to something more physical,’ Ms Whyte said.
‘At times, he went even further and touched his young charges sexually, no doubt in the hope that it might also progress to something more sexually substantial.’
Today the jury took just under four hours to unanimously convict Ali, of Old Trafford.
He showed no response when the jury of eight women and four men returned their verdicts as his parents watched from the public gallery.
Judge Denis Watson, KC, released Ali on bail – but warned him it was likely that ‘an immediate custodial sentence of some length will follow’ when he returns to be sentenced in June.
The judge also made an interim order for Ali to sign on the Sex Offenders Register.
Ali was convicted of sexually assaulting two teenage girls and a 17-year-old boy, and misconduct in public office involving sexualised conversations with six other teenage boys by asking for and sending indecent images.
His behaviour also included him trying to kiss a 17-year-old cadet and massaging his shoulders, offering to take another 17-year-old boy to a brothel, and fondling two teenage girls.
The offences took place between 2015 and 2018, ending when he was arrested after a complaint that he had been behaving inappropriately towards a 16-year-old boy.
Analysis of his electronic devices uncovered thousands of messages and identified additional victims.
Following the verdicts, it can be revealed that Ali was dismissed from his force and barred from any policing role after disciplinary proceedings last year ended in a finding of gross misconduct.
Greater Manchester Police said it would now be seeking an order that Ali should forfeit his pension.
Branding Ali’s crimes ‘abhorrent’, Assistant Chief Constable Colin McFarlane admitted that ‘not enough was done’ to ‘supervise and oversee him’, adding: ‘For that I am truly sorry’
Mr McFarlane said: ‘Whilst Ali is responsible for committing these crimes, no-one should be subjected to crime or misconduct during their contact with police officers and staff, like these young people were – for that, and in acknowledgement that Ali could have been better supervised and managed, we are sorry.’
He insisted a ‘thorough review’ of the volunteer police cadet scheme following Ali’s arrest in 2018 – including dedicated safeguarding managers and smaller group sizes – meant it was a safer place for teenagers today.
‘With national oversight, improvements have been and are continuing to be implemented to ensure cadet leaders are the role models they are expected to be and that they do not pose a risk to anyone,’ he added.
Chief Superintendent Mike Allen, head of GMP’s Professional Standards Branch, accepted the latest scandal would ‘do nothing to ease the public’s concerns about police misconduct’.
‘However, Ali represents the very worst and the minority in policing – he is among a very small percentage who discredit the police service and undermine trust and confidence in it,’ he added.
Chf Supt Allen said that in addition to re-vetting all serving officers, a covert unit had been set up in support of a pledge that corrupt policemen and women would be ‘rooted and booted out’.
According to the force, no-one had complained about Ali before his arrest.
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