A 38-year-old Metropolitan police officer has been found guilty of four counts of having underage sex with a 15-year old boy.

Former lesbian and gay liaison officer Mark Brigham, of Hackney, received a two-and-a-half year jail sentence from Judge Roger Hetherington at Portsmouth Crown Court and has been forced to register as a sex offender.

The incident happened in August of last year, where Brigham attended a party in Portsmouth, where he met the 15-year old who cannot be named for legal reasons.

Brigham had been asked for advice by the parents of the boy and knew he was underage.

In his defence, lawyers at the hearing claimed that Brigham had experienced personal problems after splitting up with his boyfriend and struggled to cope with debt.

Speaking on his behalf, Brigham’s lawyer said: “He wants to apologise to the young boy and the Metropolitan police force, which he served in for nine years with distinction. His behaviour came at the end of a long downward spiral in his life.”

Jude Hetherington then proceeded to sentence Brigham, adding:

“These offences are aggravated by the disparity in age between you. You were more than twice his age. You knew he was underage and yet you succumbed to temptation.”

Mr Brigham is expected to serve half of his sentence before being released on a community licence, but will remain on the sex offenders register for the rest of his life.