Troy Cridland, a former NSW Police officer, has been condemned by Judge Jennifer English for what her Honour described as “grossly and egregiously abusing the trust placed in him as a police officer.” The ruling came as Cridland was found guilty of engaging in sexual activities with an underage girl while serving in the police force.

In a landmark decision at the Campbelltown District Court, Judge English delivered a 15-year jail term to Cridland. The conviction came from his repeated sexual encounters with the minor over several months, alongside attempts to exploit her for child abuse material. Additionally, he was found guilty of obstructing justice by coercing the victim’s mother into providing false information to authorities.

The victim, whose identity remains protected under legal provisions, was below 16 years old at the time of the offenses, while Cridland was 28.

In her sentencing remarks, Judge English condemned Cridland’s actions as “predatory,” emphasising how he manipulated both the victim and her mother, leveraging his authority as a police officer. Despite Cridland’s claim that he believed the girl was of legal age and had met her through Tinder, the jury dismissed this defense, affirming the Crown’s argument that he was fully aware of her underage status.

Moreover, Judge English criticized Cridland’s lack of remorse, highlighting discrepancies between his personal assertions and the findings of a report from NSW Community Corrections. The report depicted Cridland as maintaining a self-centred attitude, downplaying his offenses and failing to acknowledge the power dynamic he wielded over the victim.

The trial last for 4 weeks in Lismore District Court, with the jury delivering their verdict after just two hours.

Cridland’s sentence includes a non-parole period of nine years and nine months, with eligibility for release in 2033 after factoring in time served. Cridland is continuing his studies toward a university degree while incarcerated.

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