Manchester Detective jailed for 26 years for 20 rapes

A GMP detective convicted of 20 offences including rape and child sexual offences has today (Wednesday 13 September 2023) been jailed for 26 years.

Detective Constable Stephen Hardy (08/07/77) had been posted within GMP’s Stockport district and had been on remand following his conviction in July.

He was found guilty of committing several serious sexual offences whilst off duty at Liverpool Crown Court following a brave victim disclosure and meticulous investigation by DS Abigail Thomas and Tameside CID.

The 26 years includes an additional six years on extended licence. As Hardy has been classed as a dangerous offender, he will not be automatically released after two-thirds of his sentence. He has also been issued with a restraining order and will be on the sex offender’s register for life.

Now criminal proceedings have concluded, gross misconduct proceedings will take place.

Officers began investigating DC Hardy in June 2020 following a brave disclosure about his sexually abusive behaviour. An investigation was launched and GMP officers were able to gather evidence which resulted in him being charged with several offences in 2022. The offences were committed whilst he was off-duty.

Detective Sergeant Abigail Thomas of the Major Incident Team, who led the investigation into Hardy has said: “Stephen Hardy has been exposed as a manipulative individual who committed abhorrent offences over a significant period of time. His behaviour and actions go against everything we stand for within policing.


“Tackling violence against women and girls is one of the Force’s top priorities, and anyone found within the organisation to be abusing their position to harm others can expect to face the consequences.

“I hope this investigation and sentencing reassures the public that we do treat allegations of this nature extremely seriously and will not shy away from pursuing criminal charges against officers if they are deemed to have acted unlawfully.

“I commend those who have assisted with our investigation and would like to encourage anyone else who has either been a victim, or who has witnessed or is aware of sexual abuse or criminal activity taking place to come forward and speak to us so we can take action.”

Head of GMP’s Professional Standards Branch Detective Chief Superintendent Mike Allen said: “Given Hardy contested the indictment he faced at the Crown Court, we were unable to proceed with hearing such matters within the regulated police disciplinary system. He was nevertheless suspended from GMP.

“Now that Hardy has been convicted, he will face disciplinary proceedings in connection with those matters, and as the public would rightly expect, in the time it takes to conclude these proceedings he will not now be paid by GMP.”

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